Lawyers for Australia’s Division of Residence Affairs have insisted Novak Djokovic was never given any assurances his medical exemption would enable him to enter Australia.
Whereas additionally confirming that the world No 1 is unvaccinated, the authorized staff from the Australian government mentioned forward of Monday’s attraction listening to that there isn’t a legitimate motive for Djokovic to be granted entry to Australia for the match which begins on 17 January.
Djokovic had his visa cancelled after arriving in Melbourne final week, and his lawyers have submitted a prolonged doc arguing the 34-year-old fulfilled the standards for a vaccine exemption certificates as a result of of a latest Covid an infection.
Nevertheless, a court docket submitting on Sunday learn: “There isn’t any suggestion that the applicant had ‘acute main medical sickness’ in December 2021. All he has mentioned is that he examined optimistic for Covid-19. This isn’t the identical,” including there was “no such factor as an assurance of entry by a non-citizen into Australia”. It additionally mentioned that “it’s common floor” between the 2 events that “the applicant is unvaccinated”.
Sunday’s improvement got here after a bid by the Australian government to delay Monday’s visa listening to by two days had been rejected by the federal circuit court docket.
In an order, printed on Sunday, decide Anthony Kelly rejected the transfer which might have delayed the listening to till Wednesday – after Tennis Australia’s acknowledged deadline to embrace the Serb, nine-times the lads’s singles champion, within the Australian Open draw.
Authorized consultants have warned even with the listening to continuing on Monday, there isn’t a assure Djokovic may safe a court docket order restoring his visa in time to play, and he may additionally face his visa being revoked once more on contemporary grounds.
That concern is borne out within the residence affairs division submission, printed late on Sunday. In it, the division asks the court docket, if it sides with Djokovic, to quash the unique determination however notes a Djokovic win may very well be adopted by “one other cancellation determination”.
The house affairs minister, Karen Andrews, utilized to the court docket for the case to be delayed however the decide rejected that in an order made on Saturday – though he left open the choice of the government making an attempt once more after Djokovic’s opening submissions at 10am on Monday.
If the present timetable stays in place, the government’s lawyers will current oral submissions on Monday afternoon.
In the meantime the previous world No 1 Andy Murray, who is ready to compete in Melbourne, mentioned the saga round Djokovic and his being barred entry to Australia was “actually not good for tennis”. Murray, a long-time buddy and rival of the Serb, mentioned: “I believe everyone seems to be shocked by it, to be sincere. I hope that Novak is OK. I do know him properly, and I’ve all the time had a superb relationship with him and I hope that he’s OK. It’s actually not good for tennis in any respect, and I don’t assume it’s good for anybody concerned.”
The court docket heard on Thursday that Tennis Australia had mentioned it might want to know whether or not Djokovic may compete by Tuesday for scheduling functions.
Kelly mentioned at the moment he would strive to accommodate the events to come to a decision however harassed the court docket wouldn’t be rushed. “The tail gained’t be wagging the canine right here,” he mentioned.
The Australian government on Sunday confirmed that the Czech doubles specialist Renata Voracova and a tennis official, each of whom travelled to attend the Australian Open, had left the nation voluntarily after their visas have been cancelled. The well being minister, Greg Hunt, instructed reporters border drive had now completed its investigation into Australian Open visas. He wouldn’t touch upon Djokovic’s case as a result of that matter was earlier than the court docket.
“Two different people have now voluntarily left the nation … any particular person who has their visa cancelled is entitled to go away the nation at any time, even whereas they’re going via a court docket continuing, however that could be a matter for them,” Hunt mentioned.
Djokovic obtained a medical exemption to compete within the Australian Open however then fell foul of Australian border guidelines – which require arrivals to be absolutely vaccinated until they’ll show a legitimate exemption. He’s presently in immigration detention on the Park resort in Melbourne.
Australian Open: crowds of Novak Djokovic supporters rally exterior the Park resort – video
Djokovic’s court docket problem seeks to argue that errors within the discover of intention to cancel his visa and within the residence affairs minister’s delegate’s determination imply the visa have to be reinstated.
In its submissions, the division acknowledged an “undoubted typo” within the discover and delegate’s determination however argued it was “immaterial”.
The division argued that it obtained Djokovic’s response at his interview after arrival, he had “nothing extra to say” at 6.14am on Thursday and there was no want to watch for a “accomplished” response, as Djokovic has argued.
Though the choice was made at 7.42am, earlier than Djokovic’s contemporary try to entry his lawyers at 8.30am, there was “no proof” about what they might have mentioned or finished to change the end result, the division mentioned, noting he had entry to them earlier.
Refugee lawyer and the founder of Human Rights for All, Alison Battisson, mentioned if Djokovic gained on Monday the government ought to respect the court docket’s determination fairly than “search to wriggle round by discovering one other manner to cancel his visa”.
“What we do know, nevertheless, with our dealings with the division of residence affairs is that’s typically not the case,” she warned, citing three cases she had gained within the federal court docket just for the minister to discover a contemporary motive to cancel a visa.
Battisson instructed it might be “extraordinary” if the court docket determined the case in time for the Australian Open deadline because it was listening to “a visa challenge not a enjoying tennis challenge” and different pressing instances took weeks – at a minimal – to be resolved.
Battisson argued Djokovic was experiencing the “draconian” manner Australia runs immigration appeals which have been “stacked towards” the applicant in detention with out entry to paperwork.
Former immigration division deputy secretary, Abul Rizvi, mentioned he can be “shocked” if the government cancelled Djokovic’s visa once more within the occasion the world No 1 succeeded on Monday.
“They’d have to discover one more reason or it might be contemptuous of court docket,” he mentioned.
Rizvi mentioned it was “potential” Djokovic may not have a end result by the deadline however “his lawyers will argue that he can’t be left in detention whereas the decide cogitates on it”.
A spokesman for Andrews instructed Guardian Australia: “Because the matter is earlier than the court docket, it’s not applicable to remark right now.”