Novak Djokovic’s visa to Australia was canceled for the second time today – again casting doubt on his participation in the Australian Open and potentially causing another legal deadlock.
Here’s what this means and what could happen next, according to legal experts.
Can 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 just appeal because you want to appeal,” added Quill – Djokovic should show the judge that he has valid reasons to protest the decision.
Can Djokovic play in the tournament during legal proceedings? It’s not clear yet – the Australian Open starts Monday, with Djokovic tied against compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in a first-round match that now looks in doubt.
What options does Djokovic have? Maria Jockel, an immigration law specialist at BDO Australia, said DailyExpertNews Djokovic’s lawyers now have 28 days to protest to the immigration minister, who can then choose to reintroduce the visa.
During that time, Djokovic could be placed in detention again unless the minister grants him a transition visa, which will allow him to play in the Open while he waits for the decision or making arrangements to leave Australia, Jockel said.
Djokovic’s lawyers could also go to court, but they would face a tough legal battle, especially given his admission earlier this week that his travel statement contained false information, Jockel said.
The statement said he had not traveled in the 14 days leading up to his arrival in Melbourne, but photos taken during that period appear to show him in both Spain and Serbia.
In a statement on Wednesday, Djokovic called it a “human error”.