Australian government fails in bid to delay Novak Djokovic visa hearing
PA Sport Staff
Sun., January 9, 2022, 2:58 p.m.·2 min read
The Australian government has failed in a bid to delay Novak Djokovic’s visa hearing until after the Australian Open draw is finalized.
Judge Anthony Kelly rejected, in an order published on Sunday, the submission by home affairs minister Karen Andrews on Saturday to push Monday’s hearing to Wednesday.
But the judge left the government with the option of making another application to delay on Monday.
The Federal Circuit Court heard on Thursday that Tennis Australia had said it would need to know by Tuesday for scheduling purposes if the world number one could compete in the Australian Open.
Kelly at the time, however, insisted the court would not be rushed, adding: “The tail won’t be wagging the dog here.”
Djokovic’s lawyers have claimed the Serb was granted a vaccine exemption to enter Australia because he contracted Covid-19 last month.
In court documents published on Saturday, it was stated Djokovic recorded a positive test on December 16, and has “not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours”.
Djokovic has been detained at an immigration facility in Melbourne since Thursday morning after his visa was cancelled following scrutiny of the medical exemption he had secured to travel to the first tennis major of the year.
According to his legal team, Djokovic was also provided with a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia recording he had a medical exemption from Covid vaccination.
It is claimed that the exemption certificate was “provided by an Independent Expert Medical Review panel commissioned by Tennis Australia”, and that “the decision of that panel had been reviewed and endorsed by an independent Medical Exemptions Review Panel of the Victorian State Government”.
Djokovic’s lawyers added that he was granted an “Australian Travel Declaration” because he was told by the authorities that [he met] the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival into Australia”.
On Friday, it emerged that two other people connected to the tournament have joined Djokovic in being instructed to leave the country by the Australian Border Force.
Djokovic, 34, is under instruction to stay at Melbourne’s Park Hotel, which is used to house asylum seekers and refugees, before Monday’s hearing.
He broke his silence on Instagram, saying: “Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated.”
Federal government’s bid to delay Novak Djokovic court case rejected
The Australian government is racing the clock to prepare its case against Novak Djokovic after a last-ditch bid for a delay was rejected.
2 min read
January 9, 2022 - 5:01PM
In just over 24 hours Novak Djokovic's court challenge gets underway in Melbourne as the tennis star's lawyers reveal the basis of their legal case. His lawyers said they have written proof Mr Djokovic got the all clear from the Department of Home Affairs, as well as approval from independent medical panels. They claim the visa was granted without any reference to his vaccination status and that he expressed shock, confusion and disappointment the moment he found out he was not able to enter the country as he believed he met border requirements. December 16 was the day Mr Djokovic supposedly took a PCR test and tested positive to COVID - but he is facing backlash after attending two public events, including one with children, following the result.
The Federal Government’s bid to be granted an extra two days to prepare for Novak Djokovic’s court case has been rejected.
Djokovic’s case will be heard on Monday as originally planned after Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews’ application to the Federal Circuit Court to adjourn the case until Wednesday was denied by Judge Anthony Kelly.
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The government’s request to delay the case is believed to have been prompted by Djokovic’s legal documents submitted on Saturday.
In the 35-page submission, his legal team argued the Australian Travel Declaration assessment suggested he met the requirements for quarantine-free travel into Australia and he was not treated with procedural fairness.
The documents also revealed the world No. 1 tested positive to Covid-19 on December 16 and he had used the positive PCR test to be granted a vaccine exemption to enter Australia.
In the preliminary hearing held on Friday, Tennis Australia’s lawyers said it would need to know if Djokovic would be able to compete in the Australian Open by Tuesday for scheduling reasons.
Leading lawyer Justin Quill from major law firm Thomson Geer told the Herald Sun the plea for a delay showed the federal government was “obviously scrambling” and on the “back foot”.
“It appears they now think there is a lot more to this than they had previously thought,” he said.
“The ball is now in the minister’s court to respond with their legal written submissions.”
In the documents filed on Saturday, Djokovic’s lawyers claim he received a letter from the Department of Home Affairs informing him that his Australian Travel Declaration appeared to meet the requirements.
“The Declaration Assessment told Mr Djokovic that “(his) Australia Travel Declaration (had) been assessed”, and that “(his) responses indicated that (he met) the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival into Australia where permitted by the jurisdiction of your arrival”, that jurisdiction being Victoria,” the documents read.
“Understandably, given that he:
“(1) held a visa unqualified by any relevant condition;
“(2) had received certification of a medical exemption from vaccination from the Tournament organiser, that certification being granted after review by a panel established by the Victorian State Government;
“(3) had received from the Department of Home Affairs a document informing him that he met the requirements for quarantine-free arrival, “Mr Djokovic understood that he was entitled to enter Australia and Victoria and to compete in the Australian Tennis Open.”
However, questions have been raised over the authority of an Australian Travel Declaration, with many doubting whether it is the “rubber stamp” Djokovic’s legal team is making it about to be.
According to The Australian, the letter Djokovic’s legal team appears to be referring to is “self-generated”, based on data provided by the traveller to the Australian Travel Declaration app, and does not validate whether the passenger has an approved visa, travel exemption or provides approvals for entry into Australia.
Djokovic is a hero by defeating the dolt ScoMo. He will be hailed as a conquereor and not boycotted.The anti-vaxxer has won the case.
The people of Melbourne should boycott his matches.
The anti-vaxxer has won the case.
The people of Melbourne should boycott his matches.
Just in case you didn't notice, not one person in that group was wearing a mask.Djokovic met junior tennis players maskless day after infection
Novak Djokovic attended a children’s tennis event without a mask the day after he is said to have tested positive for COVID-19.
Court documents revealed on Saturday that the world No. 1, who remains in detention in Melbourne, claims to have learnt of his infection on December 16.