Immigration minister Alex Hawke introduced the choice to revoke the tennis star’s visa in an announcement on Friday after days of deliberation about whether or not to eject the 34-year-old Serbian from Australia.
Djokovic’s case to keep in Australia will be heard on Saturday earlier than the nation’s Federal Court following an emergency hearing earlier than decide Anthony Kelly within the Federal Circuit and Family Court on Friday. Australia’s federal court is the next physique than the court Kelly presided over.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” stated Hawke in an announcement earlier on Friday.
“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Mr Djokovic. The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Under present Australian legal guidelines, all worldwide arrivals are required to be vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 — which Djokovic is just not — except they’ve a medical exemption.
Djokovic stated he was beneath the impression he might enter as a result of two unbiased panels related to Tennis Australia and the Victorian state authorities had granted him an exemption on the grounds that he had been contaminated with Covid-19 in December.
The federal authorities argued that, beneath its guidelines, earlier an infection with Covid-19 is just not a sound cause for an exemption.
Despite Monday’s ruling, the immigration minister retained ministerial energy to personally intervene within the case and in the end had the ultimate say as to whether or not Djokovic would be allowed to keep, although his choice can be appealed.
In his ruling, the decide famous that if Djokovic had been deported, he would have been banned from Australia for 3 years. However this could be waived in particular circumstances.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated the minister’s choice to cancel Djokovic’s visa protected “sacrifices” Australian had made all through the pandemic.
In an announcement, Morrison stated the “pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods.”
“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” he stated. “This is what the minister is doing in taking this action today.”
Djokovic to be detained
Djokovic will be interviewed by the ABF at 8 a.m. native time on Saturday (Friday 4 p.m. ET) at an undisclosed location “agreed between the parties” within the case.
At that time, Djokovic will be formally detained by two border drive officers and escorted to his legal professionals’ workplace whereas his case is heard within the federal court.
The location the place Djokovic will be met by border officers will stay secret so as to hold the tennis star protected and forestall “a media circus.”
“We have a genuine concern about security and a potential media circus,” Djokovic’s barrister Nick Wood informed the court when imploring Judge Kelly to enable Djokovic to be handed over to border officers in personal.
Novak Djokovic v Minister for Immigration, because the case file is thought, was formally transferred from the Federal Circuit Court to the Federal Court of Australia on Friday.
Wood informed the federal circuit court that Hawke had used his private energy to cancel Djokovic’s visa based mostly on grounds he would “excite anti-vax sentiment” ought to he stay in Australia, describing it as a “radically different approach” within the authorities’s argument.
How it got here to this
Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on January 5 and promptly had his visa canceled for getting into the nation and not using a legitimate cause why he could not be vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19.
He spent a number of nights in a detention lodge in Melbourne, which additionally homes dozens of refugees — some of whom have been held in immigration detention for greater than eight years.
His legal professionals challenged the choice and gained the authorized battle on Monday, however since then questions have emerged over Djokovic’s habits after testing constructive for Covid-19 on December 16.
He additionally apologized for apparently false data on his Australia visa declaration, particularly that he hadn’t traveled within the 14 days earlier than his arrival within the nation. Photos taken throughout that interval seem to present him in each Spain and Serbia.
Djokovic stated a member of his help workers submitted the data and the omission had been “human error.”
In the assertion, Djokovic additionally admitted doing an interview and photograph shoot with a French sports activities newspaper whereas Covid constructive, which he conceded was an “error of judgment.”
On Friday, the state of Victoria — house to Melbourne the place the Australian Open is being held — reported 34,836 circumstances, with a document 976 folks hospitalized with Covid-19. This week the nation surpassed a million circumstances over all the pandemic.
What might come subsequent
Maria Jockel, authorized principal of BDO Migration Services, stated Djokovic’s legal professionals may have 28 days to make representations to the minister, stating why he ought to reverse his choice.
Despite his visa being canceled as soon as once more, consultants say it’s nonetheless doable Djokovic might be launched on one other visa to contest the Australian Open.
“If there’s an incredible outcry about having the world’s No. 1 tennis player in detention whilst the Australian Open is on, maybe the government would relent and let him out on a bridging visa,” stated Abul Rizvi, a former deputy secretary with the immigration division.
A bridging visa would enable Djokovic to work — or, on this case, play — however the political repercussions of that call are unclear as it might appear to contradict the message that Djokovic poses a well being threat to the Australian folks.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews stated earlier Friday the difficulty had a easy answer: “Just get vaccinated.”
“That is the key … That’s what I say to every single Victorian. That’s what I’ve done. That’s what my kids have done,” he stated, including the Australian Open was greater than one participant and the difficulty far greater than one particular person.
CNN Tennis Contributor Ben Rothenberg and CNN’s Angus Watson, Jessie Yeung and Ivana Kottasová contributed.