The reasons why Djokovic’s visa was canceled a second time

In a court filing on Saturday, Djokovic’s lawyer says Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel the visa on Friday was “illogical, irrational and unreasonable.”

Meanwhile, part of Mr Hawke’s argument will be that Djokovic’s presence at Australia “may foster anti-vaccination sentiment” and undermines the nation’s vaccination policies.
Novak Djokovic is returned to custody. (New)
by Djokovic the lawyer intends to plead that the minister failed to consider what the chances were that the Serb’s departure from Australia could inflame anti-vaccination sentiment in the same way the minister claimed might happen if he were allowed to stay in the country.

Mr Hawke said Djokovic was “seen by some as the talisman of a community of anti-vaccination sentiments”.

But Djokovic’s lawyer says that claim is based on just “a few lines of text he said about two years ago”.

Mr Hawke referred to a comment in April 2020 “long before COVID vaccines were available” when Djokovic said he was “opposed to vaccination”, and to another incident where the Serb had “previously said that he wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine” to travel or participate in tournaments.

Afterwards, Djokovic’s lawyer said that the minister did not consider that firing the sportsman “on the basis of a few lines of text that he had said about two years ago could also promote anti sentiment. -vaccination”.

Djokovic’s lawyer also reiterated that the sportsman posed a “negligible risk” of infection to others, had a medical reason not to be vaccinated, entered Australia with substantial documentation, “did not attempt to contravene to no Australian law, was in good standing and was known for his philanthropic endeavours”.

The Minister’s written reasons state that he considers that “Mr Djokovic’s presence in Australia may pose a health risk to the Australian community, as his presence in Australia may foster anti-vaccination sentiment”.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. (New)

The minister said this could lead to, among other things:

  • “An increase in anti-vaccination sentiment is being generated in the Australian community, leading to others refusing to be vaccinated or refusing to receive a booster shot.”
  • “A reinforcement of the views of a minority of the Australian community who are still unvaccinated against COVID-19.”
  • “People who choose not to receive a callback.”
  • “Unvaccinated people become very sick and/or pass it on to others.”
  • “Increased pressure on the Australian healthcare system.”

In his reasoning, Mr Hawke also said he considered Djokovic to have shown “an apparent disregard for the need to self-isolate after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result”.

The minister referred to the fact that Djokovic attended an interview and a photo shoot with a French magazine The Team on December 18 when he knowingly tested positive for COVID-19.

“Given Mr. Djokovic’s high-profile status and position as a role model in the sporting and wider community, his continued presence in Australia may foster a similar disregard for precautionary requirements after receiving a COVID-positive rest. 19 in Australia.”

It has further been said that Djokovic’s presence in Australia could lead to an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment in the country, “potentially leading to an increase in civil unrest of the kind that has been experienced previously in Australia with rallies and demonstrations.

On the issue of Djokovic falsely indicating on his Australia Travel Declaration Form that he had not traveled within 14 days of arriving in Australia, the Minister said that one of Djokovic’s agents had provided a statutory declaration indicating that the incorrect information was his fault.

The minister said he assumed the statement was true.

Coles East Gardens

How Australia coped with the emergence of the Omicron variant

Djokovic’s attorneys will fight those points in Federal Circuit Court beginning at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, with the hearing set to conclude tomorrow evening, before the Australian Open which begins on Monday.

Leave a Comment