Rachel Fieldhouse

News

Mon, 10 Jan, 2022

Let him out: Judge makes huge call over Djokovic detention

Let him out: Judge makes huge call over Djokovic detention

Novak Djokovic’s legal battle to remain in the country for the Australian Open later this month has begun, seeing the tennis champion leave immigration detention at the Park Hotel.

Djokovic has captured international attention after his Australian visa was cancelled, prompting protests outside the hotel where he has been detained as well as in his home country of Serbia.

In a submission to the Federal Circuit Court, Djokovic’s lawyers said he had been infected with COVID-19 in December, which served as the basis for his medical exemption to enter the country while unvaccinated.

However, there has been confusion over whether contracting the virus in the past six months was a sufficient reason to receive an exemption.

During his hearing on Monday afternoon, ongoing issues with the live stream have meant Djokovic has been unable to watch the proceedings from the hotel.

As a result, Federal Circuit Judge Anthony Kelly made an order that Djokovic be allowed to leave the hotel so he can view the hearing at another location.

“The respondent, by her servants or agents, including the Australian Border Force, take all steps and do all things as may be necessary to bring the applicant to premises as specified by the applicant’s solicitors on Monday, 10 January 2022 (and each day thereafter, including upon the delivery of judgement), to permit him to remain there until the conclusion of each hearing and to secure his safe return to detention upon the conclusion of each hearing,” the order read.

After the live stream was overwhelmed by the number of people attempting to view proceedings, the court’s feed was paused just before midday.

Other issues included the accidental interruption of proceedings by a member of the public who joined the stream but wasn’t on mute.

“We’re in,” the person said, before being rebuked by Judge Kelly.

“Can I ask whoever is on screen to mute themselves. There is every importance that the only people who should be online with their microphones are those who are making submissions to court,” he said.

“Any other behaviour by any person who may be wishing to watch this live will produce a very real risk that the bandwidth available for this hearing will be overwhelmed and the hearing will be interrupted and that is utterly unacceptable.”

Following the interruptions, the hearing was paused until 3.15pm on Monday afternoon, before being delayed another half an hour.

Image: @djokernole (Instagram)

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