TEXT-Judgement in Novak Djokovic visa cancellation case

SYDNEY, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Following are the court orders issued on Monday after Novak Djokovic’s successful challenge of the Australian government’s cancellation of his visa on his arrival last week.

Tennis world number one Djokovic, a vocal opponent of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, had been in immigration detention in a Melbourne hotel since Thursday after his visa was cancelled due to problems with his medical exemption from vaccination.

Djokovic was released from immigration detention on Monday evening, with the government ordered to pay his costs.

In the text below, the Applicant is Djokovic and the Respondent is the Minister for Home Affairs.


1. The decision of the delegate to cancel the applicant’s Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa made on 6 January 2022 be quashed.

2. The Respondent pay the Applicant’s costs (including any reserved costs), as agreed or assessed.

3. The Respondent forthwith take all necessary steps to cause:

3.1. the Applicant to be released immediately and forthwith from immigration detention and, without limitation thereto, such release must occur by no later than 30 minutes after the making of this Order; and

3.2. the Applicant’s passport and all other personal effects to be returned to him as soon as reasonably practicable after the making of this Order.


A. The respondent concedes that the delegate’s decision to proceed with the interview and make a decision to cancel the applicant’s visa pursuant to (section) 116 of the Migration Act 1958 (Commonwealth) was unreasonable in circumstances where:

(1) at 5:20 a.m. on 6 January 2022 the applicant was told that he could have until 8.30 a.m. to provide comments in response to a notice of intention to consider cancellation under (section) 116 of the Migration Act 1958 (Commonwealth);

(2) instead, the applicant’s comments were then sought at about 6:14 a.m.

(3) the delegate’s decision to cancel the applicant’s visa was made at 7.42 a.m;

(4) the applicant was thus denied until 8.30 a.m. to make comments;

(5) had the applicant been allowed until 8:30 a.m., he could have consulted others and made further submissions to the delegate about why his visa should not be cancelled.

B. This Order was pronounced orally in open court at 5:16 p.m. on Monday, 10 January 2022.

C. The Court was informed by the respondent, through her counsel of his instructions, that the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs may consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation pursuant to sub-section 133C(3) of the Migration Act 1958 (Commonwealth) (Reporting by John Mair)