Novak Djokovic’s legal battle to stay in Australia will play out in open court on Monday January 10 at 10am local time.
The highly anticipated court case between Djokovic and the Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews, will be conducted by remote access technology and can be observed by any member of the public.
it remains unclear id Djokovic himself will be in court or just represented by his legal team.
It is widely expected that while deportation hearings can go on for days, weeks and months that this one will be resolved on Monday given the pressing need for a decision.
Under the current orders against Djokovic, a decision will be needed by 4pm AEDT Monday as that is the deadline he has been given and he can be deported thereafter.
There are four possible outcomes:
– Djokovic wins the case Monday, he can stay and play.
– Djokovic loses the case Monday, he leaves Australia.
– Case drawn out on Monday, he gets special permission to play while the matter is being determined.
– Case drawn out on Monday, he’s given no permission to play, he leaves Australia.
HOW WE GOT HERE
The decision to allow Djokovic to stay until Monday came after Judge Anthony Kelly rejected calls by the tennis star’s lawyer to permit him to remain until the court case was over.
Judge Kelly pointed out that the case could be the subject of “cascading appeals”, which could draw it out.
“One needs to press for relief that’s reasonable in the circumstances and not to overreach,” he told Djokovic’s barrister Nick Wood SC.
Judge Kelly pointed out the need to have the matter resolved quickly, stating it was “less than 10 days out from a competition a person — your client — wishes to compete in”.
However, he also noted the court would be concerned if Djokovic was deported before he had his day in court.
“It would be of great concern to the court that a person with a valid cause of action was prevented from seeking trial and determination of it by being deported before that happened,” Judge Kelly told Mr Tran.
Judge Kelly warned lawyers for Djokovic that the “tail won’t be wagging the dog” as they urged the court to decide his fate before the Australian Open draw.
HE COULD PLAY
While the world No 1 is currently holed up in a detention hotel awaiting his hearing there’s a “good chance” he will be granted permission to play the Australian Open, according to News Corp lawyer Justin Quill.
“My guess is that there is a pretty good chance he will be playing at the Australian Open,” Quill said.
“I suspect not so much because he is going to win his case, but that he is going to be found that there needs more time, and he will be allowed to stay in the country, compete in the Australian Open.
“Then the lawyers will argue about this in the weeks and months to follow.
“The imposition on Djokovic not being allowed to compete is arguably greater than the imposition on the Minister for Home Affairs. So, I suspect the court is going to land there and say, ‘I’m going to allow you to stay in the country while we sort this out over the following weeks and months’.”
Asked whether the Djokovic party had a case, Quill added: “Ultimately what the case is about is the decision taken by Border Force, the Minister for Home Affairs decision via Border Force, to deport Djokovic was wrong.
“Now, that’s going to turn on the evidence. Was there enough evidence to justify him being given this exemption or not?
“We have never seen the world’s best tennis player, possibly the world’s greatest ever tennis player, in this situation. So, it is going to be case-by-case. We don’t know exactly what they are going to be arguing, but we do know they will be saying the decision to deport him was wrong at law.”
VISA NOT THE ISSUE
It seems there has been a widespread misunderstanding about why Djokovic is being held up with Minister Home Affairs Karen Andrews reiterating on Friday morning that this is not a visa issue. Amid widespread debate as to whether authorities acted correctly, whether the world No 1 should have even been allowed to board a flight and whether other players with exemptions were being reassessed, Andrews moved to clarify some things.
“He hasn’t met the entry requirements,” Andrews told Channel 9. “I know that is there lot of chatter about the visa. The visa on my understanding is not the issue it is the entry requirement.
“The Border Force has been very clear, that he was not able to meet the requirements to provide the evidence he needed for entry.
“Every single person who comes into Australia has to prove that they have been vaccinated or prove that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. That is one of the entry requirements here.”
Djokovic is not the only player to have had their visa rejected.
Doubles player Renata Voracova was sent to the same detention hotel as the Serb and has since decided to leave the country and not contest the decision.