Novak Djokovic: What the Covid vaccine court decision means for him as he wins the Australian Open visa appeal
Djokovic’s visa could still be revoked by Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who has the authority to do so.
Novak Djokovic has been released from detention ahead of the Australian Open after winning his appeal against deportation due to his Covid vaccination status in Australia.
Mr Djokovic had spent four nights in a detention facility as Australian authorities attempted to deport him for failing to receive a vaccine.
All non-nationals entering the country must be fully vaccinated at this time.
However, a court has overturned an airport staff decision that he did not meet the requirements for a medical exemption.
What are the consequences of the decision?
The 34-year-old tennis star claimed he had been given a medical exemption from vaccination to play in the tournament after contracting coronavirus in December when he arrived at Melbourne Airport on Wednesday.
His visa, however, was revoked on Thursday morning, citing the possibility that he posed a health and safety risk due to his vaccination status.
His lawyers argued that he entered the country with the expectation that his exemption would be valid, and that he had done his “best” to provide all evidence to support this.
Before leaving, a medical exemption from Tennis Australia’s chief medical officer had to be uploaded.
In court, the government admitted that Djokovic was not given enough time to respond after being informed that his visa would be revoked.
The judge presiding over the case, Anthony Kelly, said he was “a little agitated” by what he had heard, adding, “What more could this man have done?”
He then ordered the Serbian player’s release from custody, instructing the government to cover his legal fees.
However, legal experts warned following the hearing that Djokovic might not be able to obtain a court order to restore his visa in time for the tournament.
His visa could also be revoked by Australia’s Immigration Minister once more.
What if Djokovic’s visa is revoked once more?
According to Government counsel Christopher Tran, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is weighing whether to use his personal power to revoke Djokovic’s visa.
If the minister rescinds his visa, Djokovic will be barred from returning to Australia for three years, according to Judge Kelly, though this decision could be appealed.
“The stakes, in my opinion, have risen rather than fallen,” he said.
UK news summary from Infosurhoy.
Novak Djokovic: What Australia’s Covid vaccine court ruling means as star wins Australian Open visa appeal