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Australia court rules minister acted rationally in cancelling Djokovic's visa

The Australian court has ruled in favour of the Immigration Minister's decision to deport Novak Djokovic after the tennis star challenged his second visa cancellation.

Novak Djokovic had argued against his deportation, arguing that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's decision was 'irrational'.

However, the court has overturned his challenge and the federal court has also rejected his argument.

The court ruled that the minister who revoked the men's number one tennis player's visa reasonably believed Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, may be a risk to the community.

The federal court also rejected his lawyers' arguments that there was no evidence that Djokovic had ever urged anyone not to get vaccinated, saying it was open to infer that the public would perceive that he was opposed to vaccinations, since he said he had not been vaccinated.

Djokovic's saga has fueled global debate over the rights of people who opt not to get vaccinated as governments look to protect the community from the coronavirus pandemic.

Djokovic was deported from Australia on Sunday night, just hours after the court dismissed his effort to stay in the country to play at the Australian Open, where he hoped to win a record 21st major title.

That followed an 11-day rollercoaster involving two visa cancellations, two court challenges and five nights in two stints at an immigration detention hotel where asylum seekers are held.

The Serbian is now facing the possibility of missing the next tennis Grand Slam event - the French Open - as the country's Sports Ministry has said there would be no exemption from a new vaccine pass law approved on Sunday.

Novak Djokovic is now in talks with lawyers about suing the Australian government for "ill treatment" during his last stay in Melbourne. (Reuters)


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