World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic won an appeal against a decision to refuse him a visa in the Australian Federal Circuit Court in the run-up to the Australian Open.
Judge Anthony Kelly has lifted the visa waiver and ordered the Australian government to pay the legal costs and release Djokovic from custody within half an hour.
Government adviser Christopher Tran told the court that the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs – not the minister who carried out the original visa waiver – will now consider exercising personal authority to waive Djokovic’s visa.
The federal court of Australia heard Djokovic’s appeal against a decision to deny the tennis player a visa before the Australian Open.
The hearing was delayed by technical problems with the court’s video link, but Djokovic’s attorneys took their case to Judge Kelly, who asked the court, “What more could this man have done?” and said he was “excited” about the medical exemption issue for Djokovic.
“Here a professor and a highly qualified doctor presented and granted the applicant a medical exemption,” said Judge Kelly.
“In addition, this medical exemption and the basis on which it was issued were separately issued by another independent panel of experts established by the Victorian state government, and that document was in the hands of the delegate.”
Djokovic’s attorney Nicholas Wood has argued that the letter of intent to revoke his visa was flawed because it was made for “a confusing mixture of two reasons.”
He also argued that Djokovic was treated at the airport as if having access to lawyers was “impossible” to help on the matter and that he was not given a fair chance to respond to the tip-off.
Australian government attorney Christopher Tran argued that Djokovic responded to the announcement.
At a news conference, a reporter asked Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison to respond to comments made by Tennis Australia Chairman Craig Tiley that he had received conflicting government advice on medical exemptions.