Novak Djokovic’s appeal of the Australian government’s decision to revoke his entry visa was spectacularly overruled by the judge hearing his case.
The tennis player was released from detention by Judge Anthony Kelly, who also ordered the government to pay his legal bills.
Last Monday, the 34-year-old Serbian arrived in Melbourne in the hope of defending his Australian Open championship.
Last Thursday, the footballer was given until 08:30 local time to respond to the visa cancellation under section 116 of the Australian Migration Act, but the Border Force made the final judgement just after 07:40.
According to the judge, if officials had stayed past the initial deadline, Djokovic could have had additional time to make a case for why his visa should not be revoked.
Djokovic’s lawyers contended that the 20-time Grand Slam winner entered the nation under the impression that his exemption from the requirement that travellers be completely vaccinated against COVID-19 was genuine.
Following a recent coronavirus infection, Nick Wood informed the court that the player had been granted an exemption by two independent medical boards and that he had presented all of the appropriate medical information to officials.
Judge Kelly appeared to agree with Mr. Wood’s reasoning, telling government attorneys that what he had heard so far had agitated him.
Djokovic’s lawyers have also claimed that Australian Border Force agents treated him in a “manifestly unreasonable” manner after his arrival.
He wanted to wait until the morning to hear from his team before determining whether or not to leave the nation after being confronted by officials at the airport. Officials had initially agreed to this.
According to government lawyer Christopher Tran, Djokovic’s recent COVID illness did not qualify him for an exception from travel requirements, and he rejected that the decision was discriminatory or unreasonable.
Despite the fact that Djokovic has not publicly discussed his vaccination status, he admits to border officials that he is not vaccinated. He admitted to the interviewer that he tested positive for COVID on two occasions: in June 2020 and on December 16, 2021.