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Friday, August 12, 2022

Australian Open 2022 campaign under threat as Federal Court to hear appeal after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke cancels Serbian tennis star’s visa

The affidavit prepared by Novak Djokovic’s lawyers have been made public – and the 268-page document gives an idea of how the player’s legal team plans to fight the key claim that his anti-vax views are fair grounds for a visa cancellation.

Amongst a number of arguments set out in the document relating to the ‘public interest’ argument the Minister for Immigration is relying on is the claim Djokovic has widespread support in the Australian community.

“There is vocal support in Australia and abroad for Mr Djokovic to remain in Australia and play in the Australian Open 2022,” the documents prepared by Hall & Willcox states, referring to an online poll published by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald this week which showed 60 per cent of readers agreed he should be able to play.

The letter also references ​​an online petition for with over 83,000 signatures showing support for Djokovic.

“There are several matters that would go against the public interest if the Australian government were to make a second attempt to cancel Mr Djokovic’s visa,” the document continues.

“First, that action would be likely to (further) adversely affect Australia’s global reputation, and call into question Australia’s border security principles and policies – and indeed the rule of law in Australia generally.

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“Secondly, that action would prejudice Australian economic interests, and jeopardise the viability of Australia continuing to host this prestigious, international sporting event.

“Thirdly, that action would create the appearance of politically motivated decision-making.

“Cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa and deporting him would plainly be adverse to the public interest, and respectfully, could only serve political interests. The Minister for Immigration cannot be satisfied that there is any public interest in cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa.”

Read the affadavit in full below.

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