ZB

Judge to reveal reasons for Djokovic deportation

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Jan 2022, 5:31pm

Judge to reveal reasons for Djokovic deportation

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Jan 2022, 5:31pm

Almost a week after Novak Djokovic was sent packing from Australia, the world will learn exactly why judges rejected his bid to stay. 

Federal Court Chief Justice James Allsop will publish today at 6.15pm (NZT) the reasons Djokovic was unsuccessful in his bid to have his visa reinstated. 

The three judges of the Federal Court's full bench unanimously ordered the world's best male tennis player to leave Australia on Sunday and to pay all of Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's legal costs. 

Justice Allsop on Sunday agreed with Mr Hawke, who had cited "health" and "good order" grounds in revoking the tennis star's visa because Djokovic had not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and there was a fear he could incite anti-vaccination sentiment. 

Speaking on behalf of the full court less than 24 hours before the Australian Open gets underway, Chief Justice James Allsop handed down orders that will see Djokovic on a flight back home. 

"This is not an appeal against the decision of the executive government," Allsop told the court. 

"It is an application to the court as a separate arm of government being the Commonwealth judicial branch to review a decision by a member of executive, the minister, for the lawfulness or legality of the decision on the three grounds put forward. 

"These grounds focus on whether decision was for different reasons irrational or legally unreasonable. It is no part or function of the court to decide upon the merit or wisdom of the decision." 

Djokovic was automatically banned from Australia for three years following the decision but may be allowed back in if the government believes there are exceptional circumstances. 

The court's full reasons for deporting Djokovic were not published on Sunday — they will instead be published on Thursday afternoon. 

The Serbian star made a statement after the decision by the Federal Court on Sunday. 

"I'd like to make a brief statement to address the outcomes of today's Court hearing," he said. "I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this. 

"I am extremely disappointed with the ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open. I respect the Court's ruling and I'll co-operate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from Aus. 

"I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love. I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament. 

"Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbians for your continued support. You have all been a great source of strength to me." 

On Tuesday evening, two days into the tournament, Tennis Australia finally addressed the situation. 

In a statement, the TA board said it "deeply regrets" the events that led the world's best male tennis player to travel to Australia under the impression he had a medical exemption that meant he did not need to be vaccinated against Covid-19. 

"The board and Member Associations commend the Tennis Australia CEO (Tiley) and the entire Tennis Australia team for their hard work and dedication to delivering a spectacular summer of tennis," the statement read. 

- by Rohan Smith, news.com.au