MELBOURNE, Australia — Tennis star Novak Djokovic faces deportation once more after the Australian authorities revoked his visa for a second time.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke mentioned Friday he used his ministerial discretion to revoke the 34-year-old Serbian participant’s visa on public curiosity grounds three days earlier than the Australian Open is to start.
Djokovic’s legal professionals will seem in entrance of Judge Anthony Kelly in the Federal Circuit Court for a instructions listening to on Friday the place the choose will define subsequent steps in the participant’s appeal case. Judge Kelly confirmed that Djokovic has been known as to attend an immigration listening to on Saturday and the participant’s legal professionals confirmed there had been a request for a assembly.
“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hawke said in a statement, referring to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
It is the second time Djokovic’s visa has been canceled since he arrived in Melbourne last week to defend his Australian Open title.
“I be aware the Minister for Immigration’s determination in relation to Mr Novak Djokovic’s visa,” Morrison said in a statement.
“I perceive that following cautious consideration, motion has been taken by the Minister to cancel Mr Djokovic’s visa held on well being and good order grounds, on the idea that it was in the general public curiosity to accomplish that.”
Djokovic’s exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination requirement to compete was approved by the Victoria state government and Tennis Australia, the tournament organizer. That apparently allowed him to receive a visa to travel.
But the Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and canceled his visa upon arrival in Melbourne. Djokovic spent four nights in an immigration detention hotel before a judge on Monday overturned that decision.
Melbourne-based immigration lawyer Kian Bone said Djokovic’s lawyers faced an “extraordinarily troublesome” process to get court docket orders over the weekend to enable their shopper to play subsequent week.
“For Djokovic to get the outcomes he needs to play would be extremely difficult to obtain over the weekend,” Bone mentioned.
Hawke’s delay in reaching a determination bordered on punitive, Bone mentioned.
“If you left it any later than he has done now, I think from a strategic standpoint he’s [Hawke’s] really hamstringing Djokovic’s legal team, in terms of what sort of options or remedies he could obtain,” Bone said hours before the decision was announced. The lawyers would need to go before a duty judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court or a higher judge of the Federal Court to get two urgent orders.
One order would be an injunction preventing his deportation, like the order he gained last week. The second would order Hawke to grant Djokovic a visa to play.
“That second order is sort of not precedented,” Bone mentioned. “Very rarely do the courts order a member of the executive government to grant a visa.”