How Djokovic intends to fight deportation in court

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Novak Djokovic has won his first legal round before Australian authorities want to deport him. But the world No 1 now faces a formidable test Sunday in the second round as he assumes what some have described as the immigration minister’s God-like power over marketing matters. facts and interests of the public.
Djokovic won a court appeal this week against a border official’s decision to cancel his visa. He triumphed over procedural lapses related to Australia’s confusing COVID-19 vaccination regulations.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s intervention on Friday to cancel his visa for a second time for what Djokovic’s lawyers described as “completely different” reasons for Djokovic’s resistance to Australian politics and law.

WHAT ARE THE POWER OF THE MINISTER?
Hawke has “personal power” to cancel Djokovic’s visa under Section 133C of the Immigration Act 1958.
Hawke needs to be satisfied that Djokovic’s presence in Australia “may, or will or may be, a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community.”
The minister should also be satisfied that ordering Djokovic’s expulsion would be in the “public interest”, a term with no legal definition.
Unlike the decision of a subordinate government, “the rules of natural justice do not apply” to the decision of a minister. That means the Minister doesn’t have to tell Djokovic that he is intending to deport him.
Hawke may have secretly canceled Djokovic’s visa and then informed the Serbian tennis star a few days later that he had to go. If the Australian Border Force comes to arrest Djokovic, legally they will only have to disclose that he does not have a visa.
Under Section 133F of the Act, Djokovic could then ask the minister to reverse his decision, but the only practical option would be to appeal it in court.

HOW does the minister exercise his power?
In Djokovic’s case, Australian government lawyers have warned him that the minister is planning to intervene on Monday when a judge reinstates his visa. The star athlete’s high record may have encouraged the government to show up even when it was already in action.
Djokovic’s lawyers provided evidence as to why he was entitled to hold his visa and allowed to defend his Australian Open title in the days before the minister took action.
While Hawke has full discretion over the public interest in canceling the visa, he must also be thoughtful and detailed in his argument.
“These decisions are not simple. There is a law that requires a minister in exercising this right to personally engage with his intellect with the documents and with the decision,” said immigration attorney Kian Bone. .
“It’s not something he Hawke) can say in a single sentence:` `Dear Mr. Djokovic, your visa has been cancelled.” He can’t let an official or an employee write the decision for him, review it for two minutes and sign it,” Bone added.

HOW DO YOU GET THE MINISTRY DECISION?
Because the minister’s powers are so broad and arbitrary, the grounds for appeal are likely to be less than those of a public servant acting under the authority of the minister. But courts have overturned decisions of past ministers.
Greg Barns, an attorney with experience in visa cases says the powers of the immigration minister are among the broadest under Australian law.
“One of the criticisms of this special authority is that it’s too broad and it effectively allows the minister to play God in someone’s life,” Barns said.
“It is inevitable that political considerations will be part of the decision because the concept of the public interest is so broad that it allows a minister to effectively take into account political considerations, even though theoretically theory it shouldn’t be done,” added Barnes.
Political considerations are being raised for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition with an election due in May at the latest.
Although Australia has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 vaccination in the world, the government is concerned about Djokovic’s popularity among those who oppose vaccine regulation or are skeptical of its effectiveness. vaccine results.

Djokovic’s lawyers do not accept that those sentiments are a good reason to turn down the sports star’s bid with a record 21 Grand Slam titles.
“The minister is only looking at the possibility of interesting anti-vax sentiment in the event that he is present” at the Australian Open, Djokovic’s lawyer Nick Wood told the court on Friday.
Hawke’s reasoning doesn’t take into account the potential impact on those attitudes if Djokovic is eliminated, Wood said.
“The minister did not consider any possible effect on anti-vax sentiment and indeed on public order,” Wood said. “That seems blatantly absurd.”

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