Novak Djokovic has sought an injunction to prevent the government from deporting him following today's decision by Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel his visa.
During a hastily scheduled late-night hearing in the Federal Circuit Court on Friday, Judge Anthony Kelly suggested an injunction until 4pm on Saturday to allow Djokovic's legal team to make a written application.
Nicholas Wood SC, representing Djokovic, said the written application could actually be ready as soon as 10:15pm Melbourne time, and his team is expected to file its final submissions by midday on Saturday.
He suggested requiring the government's lawyers to make their submissions by 10pm on Saturday, allowing a hearing to take place on Sunday.
Wood stressed that any legal proceedings would involve the "chewing up of time that is extreme precious, "every minute that we have before the tournament commences".
"I don't wish to be critical. The position we find ourselves in today is the product of being given reasons for decision material shortly after 6pm on a Friday. More than four days after the original decision was made," he said.
"We are where we are because of the time the Minister has taken. We are moving as fast as we possibly can.
SERBIAN EMBASSY STATEMENT ON DJOKOVIC'S DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT In a statement, Serbian embassy first secretary Ivana Isidorovic told Daily Mail Australia: 'Novak Djoković, since he is a citizen of Serbia, has the right to consular protection like any of our citizens – at the same time, Djokovic, as our most recognizable representative in the world, is the holder of a diplomatic passport, which should, in diplomatic theory and consular practice, guarantee him adequate treatment when crossing borders.
'Although the fact is that he is the best tennis player in the world, Serbia doesn’t expect any preferential treatment of Novak Djoković, but an adequate, professional approach of foreign authorities, which we are obliged to provide to every holder of our travel document.
'On the other hand, we do not expect that, because of his status as the best, he will be subjected to a particularly harsh treatment in order to serve as an example to others, just because of his popularity.'
Novak Djokovic has a special diplomatic passport that should guarantee he is treated 'adequately' by Australian border officials, Serbian officials argue.
Serbia's Australian embassy confirmed on Friday that Djokovic holds both a standard and diplomatic passport that he received after contributing to his country's 2011 Davis Cup championship win.
The embassy claims the passport should ensure the 34-year-old receives 'adequate treatment' when crossing borders around the world.
But a migration expert said Djokovic should not expect his diplomatic passport to confer on him any special rights when deciding whether or not to cancel his visa - a decision that is still outstanding from Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also explicitly states on its website that diplomatic passport holders do not have any special rights or privileges.
Macpherson Kelley lawyer Kian Bone said the passport only conferred diplomatic immunity on Djokovic if he was entering Australia on official state business.
'Any claim for diplomatic immunity is only extended to "diplomatic agents" and would not extend to a private citizen of Serbia,' he told The Herald Sun.
LIVE from Melbourne as Djokovic faces deportation ahead of Australian Open
729 watching now • Started streaming 30 minutes ago • Ruptly is live from Melbourne on Saturday, January 15, as Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic faces being deported ahead of the Australian Open. Djokovic is scheduled to attend a hearing on Saturday, two days before the tennis tournament begins. He is also due to be interviewed by Australian immigration officials.
On Friday, Djokovic's Australian visa was revoked for a second time. This time, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his ministerial discretion to cancel Djokovic's visa on the grounds of "health and good order." His legal team is appealing the decision.
The player had traveled to Melbourne last week in order to play in the Australian Open tennis tournament but was initially barred from entering the country as he failed to meet the COVID-19 entry requirements due to being unvaccinated. A judge decided earlier that the star tennis player was not to be deported from Australia, but the Australian government canceled Djokovic's visa again under separate powers in Australia's Migration Act.
Novak Djokovic has sought and obtained an urgent injunction to prevent the government from deporting him following Friday's decision by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel his visa.
During a hastily scheduled late-night hearing in the Federal Circuit Court on Friday, Judge Anthony Kelly ordered that the federal government not take any steps to remove Djokovic from Australia before the tennis star's appeal is resolved.
Djokovic also cannot be detained until 8am on Saturday, when he will attend an interview with federal officials.
Following that meeting, Djokovic will be allowed to visit the offices of his lawyers to discuss his case, escorted by two Border Force officials, before being taken into detention.
And he can return to those offices on Sunday, when a final hearing on the matter is expected to take place.
Judge Kelly also said the case would be transferred to the Federal Court of Australia.
Djokovic's legal team, led by Nicholas Wood SC, had argued for the matter to remain in the Federal Circuit Court in the interest of resolving it as quickly as possible.
Djokovic detained ahead of Australian visa appeal - BBC News 57,919 views • Jan 15, 2022 • Novak Djokovic has been detained in Australia ahead of a court hearing that will determine whether the unvaccinated tennis star can stay in the country.
The Serbian faces deportation after his visa was cancelled for a second time, with the government labelling the 34-year-old a threat to public health.
His lawyers are appealing against what they called an "irrational" decision, with the hearing set for Sunday.
Djokovic is still scheduled to play the Australian Open on Monday in Melbourne.
If he were to win the tournament, he would become the most successful men's tennis player in the history of the sport with 21 major titles.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic blasted the Australian government following the deportation of tennis player Novak Djokovic, on Sunday in Belgrade.
Vucic accused the Australian administration of humiliating and harassing Djokovic: "They think that they humiliated Djokovic with this 10-day harassment, but they humiliated themselves,” Vucic stated to reporters. “You are harassing the world's best tennis player for 10 or 11 days, so that on the 10th, 11th day you handed him a decision that you knew would be handed to him on the first day,’ the Serbian leader continued.
Vucic then accused Australia of mistreating the tennis star over upcoming elections and insisted that Australian athletes coming to Serbia would be treated differently.
"We will welcome Australian athletes in March in a different way, in an incomparably better way, we will not, because of the political elections, harass them and show strength over them or anything like that,” Vucic aded.
A unanimous federal court decision upheld Djokovic’s visa cancellation after the star entered the country without a vaccination, leading the player to be deported on Sunday. Djokovic's leaving comes on the eve of the Australian open, a tournament he has dominated over the past decade and was hoping to defend.
Djokovic's lawyers said he was exempt as he was recovering from contracting COVID in December, although during the alleged time frame, the star did not follow quarantine rules, and engaged in public events without a mask. The player is facing a fine or community service.