Australian Open: chaotic start of hearing for Djokovic's appeal

The appeal hearing of Novak Djokovic began on the night of Sunday to Monday in France in a somewhat chaotic manner due to the unusual worldwide attendance on live broadcasts and online debates.

It is in a chaotic way that the hearing of the appeal of Novak Djokovic has started by videoconference with more than 30 min late at 10 h 30 Melbourne time (00 h 30 in France). The Serb was not present at a distance, he was represented by his lawyers at Hall & Wilcox, in particular Nick Wood. The Australian Home Office was represented by Christopher Tran.

A technical knockout to start

If the hearing started with 30 minutes late, it is because of a major technical problem preventing the hearing from being broadcast. As it was public, it had to be accessible to the public, a tradition in countries governed by Anglo-Saxon law. The global impact of Djokovic’s hearing got the better of Australian Federal Court servers who could not support the number of connections. Several Internet users have even succeeded in entering the videoconference, probably via a teams link. Some even activated their cameras and broadcast a pornographic film.

On numerous occasions, the hearing was interrupted for technical problems and intrusion during the broadcast. The broadcast was even stopped at the end of the hearing, the duration of which could not exceed two hours according to the order of summons from the judge.

“What would he have could do more? “

The law firm which represents the nine-time winner of the Australian Open, looked for loopholes in the notification to Djokovic of the immigration authorities’ decision to revoke their visa upon arrival at the airport. On several occasions, Judge Anthony Kelly questioned the Serbian’s lawyers. Nick Wood, representative of Djokovic, insisted that Novak Djokovic had provided evidence from doctors before boarding the plane for Australia but also upon his arrival at Tullamarine airport in Melbourne. This was one of the major points of this hearing. Who issued these exemptions to the tennis star? A point and a major concern for Judge Kelly who recognized that the vaccine exemption provided by Djokovic emanated from an eminently qualified scientist but also from a panel of experts recognized by the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located. Judge Kelly appeared to acknowledge the player’s good faith when he asked almost affirmatively “What more could he have done?” A remark which obviously aroused the approval of Novak Djokovic’s lawyers.