Australian court holds ‘instruction hearing’ in Djokovic case
Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa was canceled today for the second time – calling into question his participation in the Australian Open and potentially triggering another legal deadlock.
Here’s what that means and what could happen next, according to legal experts.
Could Djokovic appeal again? Yes, the tennis star could seek a temporary injunction from the judge, said Justin Quill, a partner at an Australian law firm in Melbourne. During that extra time, he could stay in the country and appeal the decision.
But “you can’t appeal just because you want to appeal,” Quill added – Djokovic would have to show the judge he has good cause to protest the ruling.
Can Djokovic play in the tournament during legal proceedings? It’s not yet clear – the Australian Open starts on Monday, with Djokovic firing against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in a first round match that now looks uncertain.
What are Djokovic’s options? Maria Jockel, an immigration law specialist at BDO Australia, said lawyers for CNN Djokovic now have 28 days to make representations to the Immigration Minister, who could then choose to reinstate the visa.
Meanwhile, Djokovic could be taken into custody again – unless the minister grants him a transitional visa, which could allow him to play at the Open pending the decision or making arrangements to leave Australia , Jockel said.
Djokovic’s lawyers could also go to court – but they would face an uphill legal battle, especially since he admitted earlier this week that false information was included in his travel statement, Jockel said.
The statement said he had not traveled in the 14 days before he arrived in Melbourne – but photos taken during that time appear to show it in both Spain and Serbia.
In a statement released Wednesday, Djokovic called it “human error”.