HomeInternationalNovak Djokovic:Judge orders tennis star be freed from immigration detention in Australia

Novak Djokovic:Judge orders tennis star be freed from immigration detention in Australia

Following hours of deliberations, technical glitches and arguments from either side, Justice Anthony Kelly ordered Djokovic to be launched from a brief resort detention facility and his possessions returned inside half-hour of the Monday ruling.

Justice Kelly additionally ordered the respondent in the case — the Australian Ministry of Home Affairs — to pay Djokovic’s authorized prices.

Following the choice, a lawyer for the federal government mentioned Australia’s Minister for Immigration reserves the suitable to personally intervene in the case. Christopher Tran, appearing for the federal government, mentioned Minister Alex Hawke retains ministerial energy to take away Djokovic from the nation, regardless of the ruling.

After the listening to, Djokovic tweeted that he was “pleased and grateful” on the final result. He mentioned that “despite all that has happened,” he desires to stay in nation to “try to compete” in the Australian Open. He additionally thanked his supporters for standing with him and inspiring him to “stay strong.” He tweeted {a photograph} apparently exhibiting himself and his teaching group on a court docket in Melbourne.

A photo tweeted by Novak Djokovic, second left, apparently from a Melbourne court.

At a press convention in Belgrade, Serbia, his brother thanked supporters. “Everything is completed, finally, and Novak is finally free. Novak was on the tennis court a little earlier, he trained a little bit, and this is how he fights for himself — he plays tennis,” Djordje Djokovic instructed the information convention.

“Novak did nothing wrong,” he added, saying he was thrilled that “the Australian legal system had come through for Novak.”

However, Djordje lower the press convention quick when questioned about Djokovic’s constructive Covid check on December 16 and his whereabouts in the times after.

Djordje confirmed that Djokovic had examined constructive, and when a reporter requested if he was at an occasion on December 17, he stuttered and replied: “This press conference is adjourned.”

Sitting subsequent to his son, Novak’s father Srdjan Djokovic can be heard telling Djordje “it is for the court” when the query is requested.

On December 16, the day he examined constructive, Djokovic was photographed at three occasions, the place not one of the different individuals are masked. The following day, he was additionally photographed at a youth awards occasion.

The earlier ruling, held by way of video hyperlink on the Australian Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne, comes after days of hypothesis and public anger about whether or not the tennis star would be capable of play in the Australian Open, regardless of being unvaccinated for Covid-19.

The 34-year-old Serb flew to Australia on January 5, solely to have his visa canceled after Australian Border Force deemed his medical exemption from necessities that every one arrivals be absolutely vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 was invalid.

Faced with deportation and his hopes of profitable a document twenty first grand slam in jeopardy, Djokovic launched a authorized problem.

People are seen outside the Law Court building on January 10, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.

During the listening to, Djokovic’s authorized group argued he had obtained the required medical exemption to journey to Australia and bypass vaccination restrictions for Covid-19. That exemption had been granted on the grounds that Djokovic had pure immunity after being contaminated with Covid-19 in December, his protection argued.

Djokovic, who has beforehand voiced opposition to Covid-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates, was unvaccinated when he arrived in Australia. In his ruling, the decide famous that if Djokovic had been deported, he would have been banned from Australia for 3 years.

The case has attracted worldwide consideration and sparked anger from each his supporters and critics, with some saying his case reveals celebrities are getting particular remedy in the case of Australia’s powerful Covid-19 guidelines, which have seen households separated for years, and others who imagine coronavirus restrictions are encroaching on their civil liberties.

Djokovic’s scenario has additionally highlighted the plight of asylum seekers in Australia — with dozens of refugees inside the identical resort as Djokovic who’ve been locked up for years, and who face indefinite detention beneath Australia’s powerful immigration guidelines.

The arguments

The arguments for each the protection and the federal government basically centered round pointers issued from an advisory group for the federal authorities referred to as the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI).

Nick Wood, Senior Counsel representing Djokovic, argued ATAGI recommendation states that previous Covid an infection offers at the least six months of pure safety — “and therefore may be regarded as a temporary exemption to vaccination.”

He mentioned Djokovic understood he’d been given approval to come back to Australia by the federal government, and had made repeated appeals to federal officers in Melbourne that “he had done absolutely everything that he understood was required for him to enter Australia.”

“Any reasonable person would understand, and he did understand, that he had ticked absolutely every box,” Wood added.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand shot during a Davis Cup match at OlympiaWorld on November 27, 2021 in Innsbruck, Austria.

Lawyers for Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews, defended the Australian Border Force choice to deport Djokovic, arguing the tennis star didn’t present any medical cause why he couldn’t be vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19.

The authorities mentioned Djokovic was mistaken to assume he was assured entry, and {that a} earlier Covid an infection doesn’t equate to a legitimate medical cause why he couldn’t be vaccinated.

They pointed to the identical ATAGI pointers, which say regardless of acknowledgment of pure safety, previous an infection “is not a contraindication to vaccination” — that means it’s not a legitimate cause for someone to not get the vaccine.

The authorities additionally argued that whereas these pointers recommend folks can quickly delay their vaccination after acute sickness, “there was no suggestion Djokovic was seriously ill.”

“All he has said is that he tested positive for Covid-19. That is not the same,” the federal government mentioned in its court docket submission.

Police personnel watch pro-refugee protestors rally outside the Park Hotel, where Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic is believed to be held, in Melbourne, Australia, January 10.

Tran, the federal government’s barrister, mentioned authorities have a low bar to canceling visas and that even the potential of a danger to Australians’ well being was cause sufficient.

Justice Anthony Kelly, nevertheless, appeared to acknowledge Djokovic’s place, saying he was “agitated” by the burden positioned on the tennis star to supply officers with proof.

Djokovic had recorded a Covid-19 an infection in December — which two impartial panels agreed to be a ok cause to delay Djokovic’s must be vaccinated.

“What more could this man have done?” Judge Kelly mentioned.

What Djokovic is taking part in for on the Australian Open

The visa debacle had threatened Djokovic’s probabilities of profitable a document twenty first grand slam on the Australian Open, which kicks off in Melbourne on January 17.

Djokovic at present holds 20 grand slam singles victories, equaling the all-time document with Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Switzerland’s Roger Federer.

A victory in Melbourne would imply Djokovic breaks the document for essentially the most profession grand slams ever held by a person.

That is a really actual chance — Djokovic has received the Australian Open 9 instances earlier than.

Federer, 40, shouldn’t be taking part in in Melbourne and whereas Nadal, 35, is about to play, he has been beset with harm.

The pair have confronted one another 58 instances, with Djokovic main with 30 wins to twenty-eight. Nadal, who has received one Australian Open in 2009, is ranked world No. 6.

CNN’s Hilary Whiteman, Hannah Ritchie and Angus Watson contributed reporting.



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