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Novak Djokovic’s legal options are narrow


Novak Djokovic’s lawyers were due to challenge Australia’s immigration minister’s decision on Saturday morning to revoke his visa again, but experts said he would find it much more difficult than his first legal challenge.

Djokovic was due to meet with immigration officials Saturday morning in Australia, then go to court for a hearing at 10.15 a.m. before Judge David O’Callaghan of the Federal Court of Australia.

If he doesn’t want to just comply with the annulment and leave the country, he will have to seek a court injunction to prevent Australian authorities from deporting him while his lawyers file a challenge, according to associate professor Mary Anne Kenny. law at Murdoch University.

This would allow him to stay in the country, but he would most likely be held in immigrant detention, where he was held for five days before his first court challenge.

He could, however, apply to the government for a transitional visa to allow him to stay out of immigrant detention and continue playing tennis. But according to Daniel Estrin, an immigration lawyer, Djokovic is unlikely to obtain such a visa because he would have to meet the condition of not being able to work. His participation in the Australian Open which begins on Monday would therefore disqualify him.

But because Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s discretionary powers are so broad, Estrin and Kenny said Djokovic would find it much more difficult than his first appeal.

The minister just needed to demonstrate that Djokovic could pose a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community, Estrin said. That’s a very low threshold – “anyone can pose a risk to the Australian community if you look at them very broadly” – which makes it extremely difficult for Djokovic to make his case on the merits, he said. -he adds.

Instead, Djokovic would have to prove that Hawke committed a “jurisdictional error” or misapplied the law, Estrin said – a much higher legal threshold.

Djokovic’s lawyers will not be allowed to make his case or argue that he should have been allowed entry into Australia, Estrin said, meaning that, as in his first appeal, he should be successful in his case. procedural reasons.

“The court is not looking to see if the minister made the right decision,” Estrin said. “The court will only consider whether the minister erred in law. »


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