When an Australian government ignored the order of a court

The Djokovic affair is now dead as far as most people are concerned but I don't think it should be.  It showed how even a democratic government with conservative credentials can sink into Stalin-like disrespect for justice and the rule of law.  

The episode greatly undermines any faith in the adminstration of immigration law in Australia and inspires doubt about the rule of law in Australia generally.  Are any of us safe from government high-handedness?  We clearly are not.

Djokovic was arrested and extensively grilled when he entered Australia by the border bureaucracy, terminating in his arrest and imprisonment.  But he appealed to the court to get himself released. The court found for him but the government deported him anyhow, on the flimsiest of grounds.  What the judge in the case said is revealing.  It clearly shows that Djokovic did no wrong.  The wrong was done to him by the Australian government, probably for political reasons.  Stalin had political reasons for his actions too

"The judge presiding in the Novak Djokovic court case has said the world No.1 appeared to have provided all the evidence he was asked for on his arrival at the Australian border. 

Judge Anthony Kelly made the comments after the court spent time going through Djokovic’s travel declaration before he arrived in Australia.

Djokovic’s counsel Nicholas Wood SC notes that in the request for declaration of vaccination, the tennis player claimed he could not be vaccinated on medical grounds.

The court heard when prompted to provide proof of this Djokovic uploaded the medical exemption document from the CMO at Tennis Australia.

Judge Kelly said he was somewhat “agitated” about the situation and asked why the Tennis Australia document was not accepted by the delegate making the decision on Djokovic’s visa.

“Here, a professor and an eminently qualified physician have produced and provided to the applicant a medical exemption,” Judge Kelly said.

“Further to that, that medical exemption and the basis on which it was given was separately given by a further independent expert specialist panel established by the Victorian state government and that document was in the hands of the delegate.

"The point I am agitated about is what more could this man have done?"

Judge Kelly added that the transcript of Djokovic’s early Thursday morning interview with border officials also showed Djokovic tried to provide officers with everything they needed.

Judge Kelly noted the Djokovic transcript said: “If you will let me talk to people even though you have taken my phone from me, I will try and get you what you want.""


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