Novak Djokovic’s Australia visa was today canceled for a second time — throwing his participation in the Australian Open into question once more and potentially sparking another legal standoff.
Here’s what this means and what could happen next, according to legal experts.
Could Djokovic appeal again? Yes — the tennis star could request a temporary injunction from the judge, said Justin Quill, a partner with 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,” Quill added — Djokovic would have to show the judge he has valid grounds 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 drawn against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic in a first round match that now seems in doubt.
What options does Djokovic have? Maria Jockel, an immigration law specialist at BDO Australia, told CNN Djokovic’s lawyers now have 28 days to make representations to the immigration minister, who could then choose to reinstate the visa.
During that time, Djokovic might be placed in detention again — unless the minister grants him a bridging visa, which could allow him to play in the Open while waiting for the decision or making arrangements to leave Australia, Jockel said.
Djokovic’s lawyers could also go to court — but they would face a difficult legal battle, especially given his admission earlier this week that false information was included on his travel declaration, Jockel said.
The declaration stated he had not traveled in the 14 days prior to arriving 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.”