Following a long day of court proceedings, Federal Circuit Court judge Arthur Kelly announced the decision to quash the cancelation of Novak Djokovic's visa by the Australian Border Force (ABF), deeming it "unreasonable".
"The decision to proceed with the interview and cancel that visa ... was unreasonable," the court order in Djokovic's visa revocation case read.
Judge Kelley took note of the less-than-ideal treatment metted out to the World No. 1 at the Tullamarine airport in Melbourne upon arrival. The judge said Djokovic was not given the proper time to respond after being notified by authorities of their intent to not grant him a visa.
The judge also ordered the Minister of Home Affairs, the respondent in Djokovic's case, to pay his costs and to take “all necessary steps" to ensure the Serb's immediate release from detention.
Djokovic was being held at the Park Hotel in Carlton, a government detention center, ever since his visa was first rejected. His legal team, led by Nicholas Wood, had earlier confirmed his presence with them at an undisclosed location.
Lawyers representing the Australian government accepted the court's assessment of the matter and Djokovic's original visa now stands restored.
The matter, however, has not yet been completely settled. The legal team for Australia's Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke revealed that he was considering exercising the "personal power" of cancelation, a provision under Section 133C(3) of the Immigration Act to once again revoke Djokovic's visa.
Novak Djokovic could face a three-year ban if Immigration Minister decides to cancel his visa
The Immigration Minister holds the discretion to exercise his power to cancel a visa under the aforementioned section, which with its broad scope is extremely difficult to overturn.
The minister's counsel, Christopher Tan, informed the court that the minister was contemplating the said cancelation shortly after Judge Kelly overturned the original revocation of Djokovic's visa.
“I could have been something approaching incandescent if I had discovered that for the first time... this evening or the early hours of tomorrow," Judge Kelly in response to the Immigration Minister's latest move.
According to media reports, Judge Kelly said Djokovic could face a ban of up to three years if his visa is to be canceled by Immigration Minister Hawke using the provisions provided under Section 133C(3) of the Immigration Act.
Media reports further confirmed that the Immigration Minister had four hours to take a final call on exercising his power.