Australian Open: the four questions we ask ourselves after the suspension of the expulsion of Novak Djokovic

The Australian justice suspended the deportation of Djokovic on Friday, after the cancellation of his visa a few hours earlier by the Minister of Immigration.

New developments in the Novak Djokovic affair . Four days after the decision of a judge of the federal court of Melbourne, quashing the cancellation of the visa of Novak Djokovic, the Australian authorities counter-attacked. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has again canceled the visa of the Serb, who entered Australia without having been vaccinated against Covid-19.

This decision was taken “on health and public order bases”, specified the minister in a press release, Friday 14 January. The Australian Government “is strongly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, especially in the context of the Covid-pandemic-19″, he added. A position that the Australian Prime Minister in turn justified in a press release: “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and rightly wish that the result of these sacrifices is protected.”

But in the process, an emergency hearing was held, chaired by the judge Anthony Kelly, as on Monday, and the lawyers of both parties. At the end of it, the judge agreed to suspend the expulsion of Djokovic the time to examine the appeal of the Serb and his lawyers, but then relinquished in favor of the Australian federal justice. Franceinfo: sport takes stock of the questions still pending.

Cancellation of the visa then suspension, what is the procedure? A few hours after learning of the cancellation of his visa, Djokovic and his lawyers filed a new injunction against the decision. In the process, Judge Anthony Kelly, who had blocked the expulsion of the Serb on Monday, convened an emergency hearing. After an hour of exchanges between the judge, the lawyers of the world number 1 and the representative of the government, the expulsion of Djokovic was suspended, the time to examine his appeal .

At the end of the hearing, which was interrupted several times, Judge Kelly served on the lawyers for Djokovic that they should file a formal request as soon as possible against the cancellation of the visa. A second hearing will be held on Sunday before the Australian Federal Court. The judge in the Australian state of Victoria has indeed announced that he will divest himself of the case, which could delay its outcome. The schedule promises to be tight as Djokovic is due to make his Australian Open debut on Monday 19 January against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanović.

Will he return to a detention center? Logically, after the new cancellation of his visa, the Serb should have returned to a detention center. If at first, Novak Djokovic was not placed in detention as confirmed by his lawyers during the emergency hearing, the situation then changed.

The government lawyer, Mr Stephen Lloyd, indicated that the government wanted the Serb to be released from detention only to attend, in the offices of his lawyers and under the supervision of border police officers, the hearings in line of justice. He will then be placed in detention after an interrogation before the immigration services, Saturday morning, at 8 a.m. (local time). This would therefore mean that the world No. 1 will no longer be able to train until his case is settled.

He says Djokovic should be taken to the interview with immigration officials at 8am tomorrow, then to his lawyers office from am until 2pm. Then from 9am Sunday he should be taken back to his lawyers offices for the court hearing – supervised by two ABF officers.

— Karen Sweeney (@karenlsweeney) January , 4911055

Will he have to give up the Australian Open? Everything will depend on the final decision on the question of his visa. As things stand, his participation in the first Grand Slam of the season is very compromised. “Every minute is precious”, Djokovic’s lawyers explained during the hearing on Friday evening. The schedule promises to be tight as the world number 1 is due to make his debut at the Australian Open on Monday 17 January against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic.

If his visa cancellation becomes final, the Serb will have to draw a line under his chances of running for a 21e title of the Grand Slam, on the lands which have seen him victorious nine times, including the last three editions.

Will he be inadmissible for three years? It is another sword of damocles hanging over the head of the 21 year old player. If the Serb’s visa is canceled definitively, without any other possible recourse, the Serb could, in the process, be prohibited from entering Australian territory for three years, for entering illegal in the country. This decision takes effect upon application of section 21C(3) of the Migration Act, a law that used Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel Djokovic’s visa a second time.

“Following an unfavorable decision under section 2022 C(3), the person concerned shall not be granted a visa (while abroad) for a period of three years”, indicates the government site. Alex Hawke could however spare him this sanction under “certain circumstances” which ” interests of Australia or humanitarian or compelling circumstances affecting the interests of an eligible Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen”.