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Novak Djokovic appeal of canceled visa moves to higher court

Federal Court
The Australian Associated Press
The Health Department
the High Court
the Federal Circuit and Family Court
the Federal Court
Tennis Australia
the Australian Border Force

Patrick McEnroe
Novak Djokovic
Alex Hawke
Harrison McLean
David O'Callaghan
Paul Holdenson
Stephen Lloyd
James Allsop
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer
Scott Morrison
Andy Murray
Andrey Rublev


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He spent four nights confined to a hotel near downtown Melbourne before being released last Monday when he won a court challenge on procedural grounds against his first visa cancellation.Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday blocked the 34-year-old Serb's visa, which was originally revoked when he landed at a Melbourne airport on Jan. 5.Deportation from Australia can lead to a three-year ban on returning to the country, although that may be waived, depending on the circumstances.Djokovic has acknowledged that his travel declaration was incorrect because it failed to indicate that he had been in multiple countries over the two weeks before his arrival in Australia.But the incorrect travel information is not why Hawke decided that deporting Djokovic was in the public interest.His lawyers filed documents in court on Saturday that revealed Hawke had stated that "Djokovic is perceived by some as a talisman of a community of anti-vaccination sentiment."Australia is one of the most highly vaccinated populations in the world, with 89% of people aged 16 and older fully inoculated against COVID-19.But the minister said that Djokovic's presence in Australia may be a risk to the health and "good order" of the Australian public. His presence "may be counterproductive to efforts at vaccination by others in Australia," the minister said.The Health Department advised that Djokovic was a "low" risk of transmitting COVID-19 and a "very low" risk of transmitting the disease at the Australian Open.The minister cited comments Djokovic made in April 2020, before a COVID-19 vaccine was available, that he was "opposed to vaccination."Djokovic had "previously stated he wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine" to compete in tournaments.The evidence "makes it clear that he has publicly expressed anti-vaccination sentiment," the minister wrote in his reasons for canceling Djokovic's visa.Djokovic's lawyers argue that the minister had cited no evidence that Djokovic's presence in Australia may "foster anti-vaccination sentiment."Djokovic will be allowed out of hotel detention on Sunday to visit his lawyers' offices for the video court hearing.Hundreds of activists held a peaceful rally outside the Melbourne Park complex that hosts the Australian Open, and planned another for Monday."We're at Rod Laver Arena to support Novak.

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