Why arresting tennis star at Melbourne airport was “grossly ineffective”
Novak Djokovic should never have been allowed to board a plane bound for Australia if the federal government had concerns about his medical exemption, a former senior immigration official said.
Mr Rizvi also said Commonwealth lawyers could face a difficult task in court when they attempt to resist the defending Australian Open champion’s attempt to overturn his visa cancellation. .
âLike anyone else who tries to come to Australia, (Djokovic) deserves to be treated with respect and properly,â Mr. Rizvi said, explaining how the tennis star’s request was allowed to pass successfully through. two layers of visa protection, setting up the current conflicting impasse.
Instead of stopping Djokovic’s candidacy prematurely, he was allowed to squeeze through the gaps and reach a third layer, Mr Rizvi said, which was the worst outcome for everyone.
âThe first layer of protection is when you apply for and get a visa,â he said.
“This is when all the relevant legal criteria must be taken into account.
“And then, and only then, should the visa be granted.
âIt looks like in Mr Djokovic’s case the government said, ‘We have taken into account some of the requirements and some that we will check later and give you a visa anyway. “”
Mr Rizvi said that at this point Djokovic had “a right to believe” that the Australian government would allow him to enter Australia.
The second level of border protection is when a passenger boards an airline to travel to Australia.
There will be Australian Border Force members standing behind airline staff at the port of departure, ready to remove passengers or order staff to remove people from the plane if they have any concerns. .
“They could have prevented Djokovic from landing (in Australia) or boarding the plane if they had had these concerns a few hours earlier,” Rizvi said.
“Instead, they used the third layer, which is the most ineffective point to deal with this.”
Mr Rizvi said that the interception and removal of people at the border “should only be carried out in cases of absolute urgency or when there have been dramatic changes in circumstances or some other alarming event s ‘is produced “.
âReturning it to the airport is totally inefficient,â Mr. Rizvi said.
Two states battered by a mighty royal tide and dangerous waves
Commonwealth lawyers “will have to produce most of the evidence” when Djokovic’s appeal is heard in a federal circuit and family court on Monday, he said.
“The first thing the Commonwealth government will have to prove is why did they give him a visa if he didn’t meet all the legal requirements?”
Mr Rizvi said it was a “very difficult” question for the Commonwealth to answer for the judge.
The Commonwealth will also have to explain why they let Djokovic board the plane if they had any concerns, Mr Rizvi said, and they will also have to describe exactly the circumstances that led the government to suddenly cancel his visa.
“I think these three questions will be difficult for the Commonwealth to answer.”
If Djokovic wins his appeal, the government could appeal that decision.
However, if Djokovic wins, Rizvi said the government “would drop out from that point on and seek to blame someone else”.
If Djokovic’s appeal is dismissed, the world number 1 could appeal, Mr Rizvi said, but it could be a futile decision.
Mr Rizvi strongly doubted that Djokovic could wrap up a successful call in time to defend his title at the Australian Open, which begins on January 17.