Australian Open: justice orders immediate release of Djokovic

Australian justice ordered the immediate release of Novak Djokovic from his place of immigration detention on Monday. But the Australian government can always cancel the Serbian’s visa.

Novak Djokovic to leave the hotel for immigrants in which he had been staying for five days. The judge of the Federal Circuit Court Anthony Kelly indeed ordered the immediate release of the world number one from his detention, this Monday during the hearing on appeal of the Serbian. The latter had been banned from entering Australian soil last Thursday when he arrived at Melbourne airport for not having presented sufficient evidence to justify his medical exemption issued in order to participate in the Australian Open. Judge Kelly said at the hearing that the decision to cancel the temporary visa was “unreasonable”, should be set aside and the defendant (the Home Secretary) should take “all measures necessary to immediately release the applicant”. Djokovic’s attorney Nicholas Wood, SC has confirmed that the tennis star is currently physically with the legal team at an unconfirmed location.

“What could he have done more? “asked the judge

During the debates broadcast publicly and online – resulting in a chaotic start – the judge had given hope to the Djokovic clan by asking: “What could he have done more?”. The Serbian’s lawyers appealed on three grounds arguing that the decision to cancel the visa was illogical, irrational or legally unreasonable, and that he was denied procedural fairness.

They assured that Djokovic fulfilled the criteria for a temporary medical exemption from the vaccination against the Covid because he had been infected in December. The lawyers referred to advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) that infected people can defer vaccination for up to six months after “acute illness” as a temporary exemption due to ” serious medical illness “. They also claim that the Serbian did not have enough time to respond to the decision.

In its argument, the government considered that a previous infection with Covid is not considered as a medical contraindication for vaccination against the virus in Australia. Lawyers for the Home Secretary say the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) guidelines say: “People with laboratory confirmation of a past infection can begin their vaccination program … as soon as they are they recovered from the symptomatic infection “. They insist that Djokovic was well recovered and that there was no “suggestion of acute illness.”

The government can always cancel his visa

The minister’s lawyers also argued that there was no injustice by giving Djokovic less time than expected because there was “no evidence “of what Djokovic could have done by contacting his lawyers,” whom he had contacted before “. “The applicant had the opportunity to provide information to border force officers for a long time during the evening.” His arguments were not enough to convince the judge who rejected the government to cancel the visa of the world number one. The case is not over, however, since the government lawyer recalled that the federal state could still order the expulsion of Djokovic.