The 34-year-old tennis world No.1 was ordered to be freed from immigration detention at Melbourne’s Park Hotel – where he has been since Thursday – by no later than 5.46pm on Monday.
Australian Border Force officers first stopped Djokovic at the Melbourne airport last Wednesday evening, questioning him at length directly after he has stepped off a 25-hour plane flight.
Central to the tennis star’s court win was the fact he was not given adequate time to consult with his legal team after he was notified Border Force officials intended to cancel his visa.
A large crowd of supporters, many dressed in Serbia’s colours and waving the flag of Djokovic’s home country, erupted in celebration outside the court as the decision became known on Monday afternoon.
Fans of Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic react to news of his overturned ruling outside Federal Court ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne (pictured)
Fans wave Serbian flags and celebrate in Melbourne on Monday afternoon after tennis champ Novak Djokovic was cleared to remain in Australia (pictured)
There had been fans stationed outside Melbourne’s Park Hotel for days – many from the local Serbian community – showing their support for their national hero with banners and placards.
Djokovic is now cleared to play in the Australian Open – where he will be battling for his tenth title – with the main draw set to kick off in just days on January 17.
If the Serbian win at this years Melbourne tournament he will secure a record 21st grand slam title – pushing him ahead of fellow greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic’s visa cancellation was overturned in the court after Judge Anthony Kelly found the tennis star was not given enough oppourtunity to consult with his legal team after he was detained (pictured: supporters in Melbourne on Monday)
The 34-year-old is now clear to play in the Australian Open where he is chasing his record 21st grand slam title
Tennis fans and Djokovic supporters (pictured) waited outside Federal Court in Melbourne on Monday as Djokovic’s case was heard
Members of the local Serbian community – some draped in national flags – holds hands in Melbourne (pictured) as the tennis ace’s case was heard in the nearby Federal Court building
In overturning the visa cancellation, Federal Court Judge Anthony Kelly said proper procedure, specifically allowing him ample oppourtunity to consult with his legal team, was not followed when Djokovic was detained and questioned at the airport.
‘We all play by the same rules… those rules were not observed,’ Judge Kelly said.
His comments echoed those in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s statement shortly after Djokovic was first given his marching orders.
‘Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules,’ Mr Morrison had previously said.
Fans couldn’t contain their excitement (pictured) as Serbian national hero Novak Djokovic was ordered to be released from immigration detention by no later than 5.46pm on Monday
While the tennis star’s can remain in Australia, the government could still cancel his visa if Immigration Minister Alex Hawke decides to (pictured: supporters hold a giant Serbian national flag in Melbourne)
‘The decision to proceed with the interview and cancel that visa … was unreasonable,’ Judge Kelly ordered after an agreement was reached by Djokovic’s legal team and lawyers for Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.
He said Djokovic must be released within 30 minutes of the order being made.
But there could yet be another twist in the case that has captured global attention.
Christopher Tran, representing the government, said Immigration Minister Alex Hawke would now consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation over Djokovic’s visa.
Judge Kelly said he would have been ‘something approaching incandescent’ had he heard about that after the hearing.
Federal Court Judge Anthony Kelly warned if Mr Hawke did choose to cancel the visa he must provide adequate notice to prepare another legal challenge
Foreshadowing further potential legal action if that occurs, the judge said the stakes were higher now.
He said it was unlikely any other judge could get up to speed with the case and he would need to know as soon as possible if there was going to be another proceeding on short notice.
He also pointed out that Djokovic’s personal and professional reputation and economic interests may be directly affected.
‘If this man is to be summarily removed upon the personal exercise of cancellation power, he cannot return to this country for three years,’ he said.
‘I expect to be fully informed in advance if I am required to continue to be available for any further proceeding that is to be sought, because on a view, the stakes have now risen rather than receded.’
Joyous fans of the Serbian tennis star (pictured) now hope Djokovic can secure a second win on the court at the 2022 Australian Open
The tennis star’s visa was originally cancelled because he arrived in the country on a medical exemption which stated he had previously had Covid in the last six months – which the federal government said was not a valid reason.
Djokovic’s legal team successfully overturned the cancellation in a hearing plagued by technical issues, with live streams collapsing under the pressure of tens of thousands of people trying to watch.
Monday’s outcome will come as huge relief for Djokovic’s legions of fans, including his family in Belgrade who have been staging daily rallies in the Serbian capital since their son’s ordeal began.
The saga has divided the tennis world and had left Djokovic’s quest for an unprecedented 21st men’s major this month at Melbourne Park in turmoil.
Andy Murray declared the whole episode ‘really bad’ for tennis.
Murray, who has lost four Open finals to Djokovic, was left quite dismayed by the events of the past five days.
‘I think everyone is shocked by it to be honest,’ the former world No.1 told reporters.
Members of the Melbourne Serbian community played traditional instruments as they waited to learn whether 34-year-old Djokovic could remain in the country and compete