Judge Overturns Visa Cancellation, Novak Djokovic Can Play The Australian Open… For Now

by Sean Randall | January 10th, 2022, 10:47 am

In a surprise turn of events (to me, at least), Novak Djokovic is a free man. For now.

Last night, in a lengthy hearing Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly overturned Djokovic’s cancelled visa. The judge’s decision was based on procedural error by the Australian Border Force officials during the period after which Djokovic landed.

The Serb wanted to delay anything until 8:30am to allow for lawyers, Tennis Australia and other officials to be consulted. The officials at the airport, agreed, but then cut that short, waking Djokovic up hours earlier and pressuring the world No. 1 to get the cancellation done during their shift.

While there clearly were errors made by officials, I felt that the entire decision rested on Australia’s rules regarding entry, and Djokovic did not meet the requirements — his COVID positive was not a valid exemption — according to some documents (does anyone know the rule anymore?).

But that aside, the judge said Djokovic’s handling at the airport was unreasonable.

However, Djokovic is not out of the woods yet.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has the power to simply revoke Djokovic’s visa again in a final blow. Will he do it? He’s apparently considering it and we know Australia’s PM wants Djokovic gone. And as Judge Kelly noted, such a decision would keep Djokovic out of the country for three years.

So while Djokovic is back free for now, a man named Hawke could have the final say, overturn “the call” and send the 9-time champion back home at any moment.

It would be a petty, personal, purely political move. Does he (and the government) have the guts to do it?

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10 Comments for Judge Overturns Visa Cancellation, Novak Djokovic Can Play The Australian Open… For Now

Van Persie Says:

Respect to Mr. Judge Kelly! I was pleasantly surprised.

Giles Says:

VP. It’s not over. You need to worry about the Immigration Minister. I think he’s gunning for joker.

Van Persie Says:


I am very aware of that😉. That win was already enough for me.

Miloš Says:

Love how people are calling brutal actions by border force – simply procedural error.

I am being sarcastic of course. I would certainly like for Nole haters to go through procedural error once just to see how it feels.

Imagine if China jailed sportsmen who come at the winter Olympics for not being jabbed by Chinese vaccine.

Wog Boy Says:

To quote Nigel Farage, who is in Belgrade, if minister cancel Nole’s visa, which he might as well do, would mean that arbitrary power will win over the rules of law.
I don’t know in how many countries unqualified minister car override decision of highly qualified, not any court, but Federal court judge, in Australia it can.
If they decide to cancel it, which lot of legal expert and former high ranking government officials are advising them not to do, they are risking even more embarrassment. All the polls are showing that support for this government is sinking like Titanic, they are facing massive defeat at this year elections, they were hoping to pick up political points on Nole but it backfired.
Nole has limitless resources to fight them, if they cancel the visa they will have to arrest him, meaning back to Federal court, all the media is waiting for that, but this time it will be public arrest that will be broadcast all over the world, Australia is already laughing stock around the world, do they need more of the same?!
Nole is not some poor bugger who was turned back at the airport and told if he disagrees he can go to court, knowing that he can’t afford to go to court. AO itself becomes completely unimportant, besides, there is a real possibility that quite a few players would boycott AO, of course, not Nadal.

Whether you like it or no, Nole won court battle, this win is more important than any of his previous wins, he is gaining respect and support from the people around the world that actually don’t even watch the tennis.
As the time is passing there is a less and less possibility that they will do it, I think it was planned to be done immediately after court finishes, if government loses, but Nole legal team was smart enough to bring him during hearings in their office building and to keep him 4 hours there after ruling was read, since judge gave the four hours to do that, but warned the, even they had right to so, not to do it. I was watching the stream last night, exactly at 21:00 black (4 hours after ruling) black Audi arrived in underground car park and in the next few minutes Nole left the building in that very Audi.

His legal team tore into the pieces government, their barrister looked like sheep, he didn’t have any argument apart of repeating “border force was following the proper procedure”, nothing but the praise for Nole’s legal team and Mr Nicholas Wood SC by legal experts, does government want new date in the court, we’ll see, bit it doesn’t look really smart to do so, but it’s possible.

Wog Boy Says:

The option that government is looking at now is to cancel the visa but on different ground, maybe Sean tipped them off, so, it’s waiting time now.

chico Says:

Go O’opy, go..! ;)

Van Persie Says:

I agree with WB, there might be a hard time for Nole now, he might miss AO, other tournaments, but AO government made him very famous, he got also some more supporters in the world, persons who did not have any idea, who he was, until now.
The world is following , what is happening. It would not be a good advertising for the government to cancel his visa again. It is a win-win for Nole at the moment.

Van Persie Says:


Am not so sure he will lose sponsors as he got also many admirers. The world is not divided in Pro- and Anti Vaxers as they want to make us believe. We have vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, and not all the vaccinated persons are trusting measures of the governments lately, as there are still restrictions in the world, even if you have the vaccine available since end of 2020…why should be a vaccinated (against Covid) person scared to get some disease from an unvaccinated??? I am vaccinated, so I will be fine. Why should I care, that Nole does not take the vaccine?

Van Persie Says:

Some colleagues, which have no idea about tennis contacted me last week, when the circus started, because they knew, I am watching tennis matches: “hey, this is the guy which you are mentioning sometimes, correct? F*ck, he’s cool!”

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