Explanation: Why Australia faces a tough appeal to Novak Djokovic | Tennis News

Australia’s Immigration Minister must now make the politically charged decision to use his authority to overturn the judge’s decision.

When Australian immigration authorities rejected tennis star Novak Djokovic’s medical exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination requirement and canceled his visa, it sparked a storm of ramifications – bureaucratic, political and legal.

The world’s best male tennis player spent four days in a Melbourne immigrant detention hotel among asylum seekers and refugees before Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly upheld his appeal and ordered his release and the reinstatement of his visa.

Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke must now make the politically charged decision to use his authority to overturn the judge’s decision.

But what has happened in the last few days and what does it seem like before the tennis tournament?

What destination now?

First of all, better accommodation class. When the judge ruled in his favor on Monday, Djokovic was immediately released from the Park Hotel in Melbourne to join his team in an upscale apartment for the remainder of his stay in Australia.

Djokovic quickly made it to the Australian Open stadium, Melbourne Park, for a late-night training session. He also trained on Tuesday, suggesting his views are still firmly fixed on his candidacy for a 21st Grand Slam singles title.

Hawke is due to decide Djokovic’s fate on Wednesday.

Another issue under investigation is whether Djokovic may have completed his travel registration form incorrectly when he ticked a box to indicate that he had not traveled in the 14 days prior to his arrival. in Australia on January 6. In fact, Djokovic traveled to Spain to train during this time.

What did the court say?

The key to the whole case and perhaps the most difficult question to answer is whether Djokovic has a valid request for medical exemption to enter Australia without being vaccinated.

Tennis Australia, the state government of Victoria and the federal government have different views.

Before leaving for Australia, Djokovic had been shy about his vaccination status. Asked at Melbourne airport by border officials early Thursday morning, he admitted he was not.

His request for a medical exemption from the rule that all non-Australian arrivals must be vaccinated was based on his claim that he tested positive for COVID-19 on December 16.

Medical panels established by Tennis Australia and the government of Victoria have granted Djokovic exemption from vaccination to play at the Australian Open on this basis. Djokovic’s lawyers argued that he had every reason to believe that the same standard applied at the border.

What was the case?

Djokovic was quick to welcome the court’s decision. During his four days of migrant detention, he has tweeted only once, to thank his fans for their support.

Early Tuesday morning, he tweeted again to express his gratitude to the court for upholding his case.

Questions remain about Djokovic’s recent positive test. He underwent a PCR test on December 16 and received his positive result that night, but was reportedly seen in public the following days.

Role of politics

Djokovic arrived in Melbourne as he faced a record daily number of COVID-19 cases. The numbers were also increasing across Australia due to the Omicron variant.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government was facing criticism for easing some virus restrictions as Omicron cases began to rise and for failing to make rapid antigen testing available.

Morrison had little to say when Tennis Australia and the Victoria government confirmed Djokovic’s request for a medical exemption. But when Djokovic’s visa was canceled, he quickly made the decision, sensing public approval.

He tweeted “rules are rules” and repeated it in interviews over the next few days. At first it seemed like a certain political victory.

Australia’s strict border controls during most of the pandemic have separated families by preventing Australians living abroad from returning home.

The possibility that one of the world’s most celebrated athletes and prominent vaccine skeptics would receive special treatment at the border was something Morrison couldn’t admit.

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