June 29, 2022


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Unvaccinated Djokovic Loses Battle To Defend Title As Australian Court docket Upholds Visa Cancellation

The world’s top-ranked tennis participant, Novak Djokovic, has misplaced his bid to keep away from deportation from Australia after the Federal Court docket rejected his attraction to remain within the nation and defend his Australian Open title.

The decision from Chief Justice James Allsop got here following a unanimous resolution from the three judges listening to the case in Melbourne on January 16. The judges upheld a choice made on January 14 by the immigration minister to cancel the 34-year-old Serb’s visa on public curiosity grounds.

The choice doubtless signifies that Djokovic, who will not be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, will stay in detention in Melbourne till he’s deported.

Earlier on January 16, Djokovic left a detention lodge and joined his attorneys for the listening to. His attorneys instructed the panel that the federal government’s effort to deport him on the eve of the Australian Open was “irrational” and “unreasonable.”

Djokovic’s problem was moved to a better court docket after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke blocked his visa, which was initially revoked when he landed at a Melbourne airport final week, touching off a saga that has angered the Serb authorities and plenty of Serbians.

A choose on January 10 reinstated his visa on procedural grounds after it was revoked the primary time, however Hawke on January 14 mentioned that he was utilizing his discretionary powers on visa points to cancel Djokovic’s visa “on well being and good order grounds, on the idea that it was within the public curiosity to take action.”

The minister mentioned Djokovic’s continued presence within the nation might “foster anti-vaccination sentiment” and even spark an “enhance in civil unrest.”

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Hawke admitted that Djokovic is at “negligible” danger of infecting Australians however argued his previous “disregard” for COVID-19 rules could pose a danger to public well being and discourage individuals from getting boosters simply because the nation experiences a rise in omicron infections.

The participant was granted a medical exemption on the grounds that he contracted COVID-19 in mid-December. However based on his personal account, he did not isolate regardless of figuring out he was optimistic.

Djokovic’s trigger was not helped by a mistake on his entry declaration on which a field was ticked stating he had not traveled overseas within the two weeks earlier than arriving in Australia. In truth, he had traveled between Spain and Serbia.

Some gamers have lamented that the controversy has overshadowed the buildup to the yr’s first Grand Slam occasion.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and BBC