Australian government lawyers say Novak Djokovic was never assured of entry to Australia | Novak Djokovic

Lawyers for Australia’s residence workplace have insisted Novak Djokovic was never given any assurances his medical exemption would permit him to enter Australia.

Whereas additionally confirming that the world No 1 is unvaccinated, the authorized workforce from the Australian government stated forward of Monday’s attraction listening to that there isn’t a legitimate cause for the 34-year-old to be granted entry to Australia for the match which begins on 17 January.

Djokovic noticed his visa cancelled after arriving in Melbourne final week, and his lawyers have submitted a prolonged doc arguing the 34-year-old fulfilled the factors for a vaccine exemption certificates as a result of of a latest Covid an infection.

Nonetheless, a court docket submitting on Sunday learn: “There isn’t any suggestion that the applicant had ‘acute main medical sickness’ in December 2021. All he has stated is that he examined constructive for COVID-19. This isn’t the identical,” including there was “no such factor as an assurance of entry by a non-citizen into Australia”. It additionally stated that “it’s common floor” between the 2 events that “the applicant is unvaccinated”.


Sunday’s growth got here after a bid by the Australian government to delay Monday’s visa listening to by two days had been rejected by the federal circuit court docket.

In an order, printed on Sunday, decide Anthony Kelly rejected the transfer which might have delayed the listening to till Wednesday – after Tennis Australia’s said deadline to embrace the Serb, nine-times the boys’s singles champion, within the Australian Open draw.

Authorized consultants have warned even with the listening to continuing on Monday, there isn’t a assure Djokovic might safe a court docket order restoring his visa in time to play, and he might additionally face his visa being revoked once more on recent grounds.

The house affairs minister, Karen Andrews, utilized to the court docket for the case to be delayed however the decide rejected that in an order made on Saturday – though he left open the choice of the government making an attempt once more after Djokovic’s opening submissions at 10am on Monday.

If the present timetable stays in place, the government’s lawyers will current oral submissions on Monday afternoon.

In the meantime the previous world No 1 Andy Murray, who is ready to compete in Melbourne, stated the saga round Djokovic and his being barred entry to Australia was “actually not good for tennis”.

Murray a long-time pal and rival of the Serb, stated: “I believe everyone seems to be shocked by it, to be sincere. I hope that Novak is OK. I do know him nicely, and I’ve all the time had a very good relationship with him and I hope that he’s OK. It’s actually not good for tennis in any respect, and I don’t suppose it’s good for anybody concerned.”

The court docket heard on Thursday that Tennis Australia had stated it might want to know whether or not Djokovic might compete by Tuesday for scheduling functions.

Kelly stated at the moment he would attempt to accommodate the events to come to a decision however careworn the court docket wouldn’t be rushed. “The tail received’t be wagging the canine right here,” he stated.

The Australian government on Sunday confirmed that Czech doubles specialist Renata Voracova and a tennis official, each of who travelled to attend the Australian Open, had left the nation voluntarily after their visas had been cancelled.

The well being minister, Greg Hunt, informed reporters border pressure had now completed its investigation into Australian Open visas. He wouldn’t touch upon Djokovic’s case as a result of that matter was earlier than the court docket.

“Two different people have now voluntarily left the nation … any particular person who has their visa cancelled is entitled to depart the nation at any time, even whereas they’re going by means of a court docket continuing, however that may be a matter for them,” Hunt stated.


Djokovic obtained a medical exemption to compete within the Australian Open however then fell foul of Australian border guidelines – which require arrivals to be absolutely vaccinated until they will show a legitimate exemption. He’s presently in immigration detention on the Park resort in Melbourne.

Australian Open: crowds of Novak Djokovic supporters rally outside the Park hotel – video
Australian Open: crowds of Novak Djokovic supporters rally exterior the Park resort – video

Djokovic’s court docket problem seeks to argue that errors within the discover of intention to cancel his visa and within the residence affairs minister’s delegate’s determination imply the visa should be reinstated.

Refugee lawyer and the founder of Human Rights for All, Alison Battisson, stated if Djokovic received on Monday the government ought to respect the court docket’s determination reasonably than “search to wriggle round by discovering one other method to cancel his visa”.

“What we do know, nonetheless, with our dealings with the division of residence affairs is that’s typically not the case,” she warned, citing three situations she had received within the federal court docket just for the minister to discover a recent cause to cancel a visa.

Battisson instructed it might be “extraordinary” if the court docket determined the case in time for the Australian Open deadline because it was listening to “a visa difficulty not a enjoying tennis difficulty” and different pressing circumstances took weeks – at a minimal – to be resolved.

Battisson argued Djokovic was experiencing the “draconian” method Australia runs immigration appeals which had been “stacked in opposition to” the applicant in detention with out entry to paperwork.

Former immigration division deputy secretary, Abul Rizvi, stated he can be “stunned” if the government cancelled Djokovic’s visa once more within the occasion the world No 1 succeeded on Monday.

“They’d have to discover another excuse or it might be contemptuous of court docket,” he stated.

Rizvi stated it was “potential” Djokovic won’t have a outcome by the deadline however “his lawyers will argue that he can’t be left in detention whereas the decide cogitates on it”.

A spokesman for Andrews informed Guardian Australia: “Because the matter is earlier than the court docket, it isn’t acceptable to remark right now.”

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