Novak Djokovic: Judge orders immediate release of tennis
Judge Anthony Kelly ordered the release of the tennis star
However, there has been no sign of the Serbian player since
the verdict. And Immigration Minister Alex Hawke can still cancel his visa on
The 34-year-old flew into Melbourne last week, hoping to
defend his Australian Open title.
The government acknowledged in court that Djokovic was not
given enough time to respond following the notification to cancel his visa.
The player was told he would have until 08:30 local time
last Thursday to make comments about the visa cancellation under section 116 of
the Australian Migration Act, but the Border Force made the final decision
shortly after 07:40.
The Judge said Djokovic could have had more time to make a
submission about why his visa should not be withdrawn if authorities had stuck
to the original time.
"We all play by the same rules," Judge Kelly said.
"Stated in other terms: those rules were not observed."
The trial began on Monday morning after delays caused by
technical issues with a live stream of proceedings.
Lawyers for Djokovic argued that the 20-time Grand Slam
winner entered the country on the understanding that his exemption from
restrictions requiring travellers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 was
Nick Wood told the court that the exemption had been granted
to the player by two separate medical boards following a recent coronavirus
infection and that he had presented all the necessary medical evidence to
"He had done absolutely everything. He had engaged with
everything that was required of him by Tennis Australia," Mr Wood said.
Judge Kelly appeared to agree with Mr Wood's argument and
told government lawyers that he felt "agitated" by what he had heard
"What more could this man have done?" he asked.