• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Civil Rights Groups Explain Why Novak Djokovic's Deportation Is Concerning

Stewart Perrie

Published 

Civil Rights Groups Explain Why Novak Djokovic's Deportation Is Concerning

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Novak Djokovic's deportation from Australia has raised a few eyebrows in the realm of civil liberties.

The Serbian tennis was sent packing last night (January 16) after the federal court upheld Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's decision on Friday (January 14) to re-cancel his visa.

Mr Hawke cited 'health' and 'good order' under section 133C (3) of the Migration Act as grounds for booting Djokovic.

He said the tennis player's presence in Australia could stoke anti-vaccination sentiments in Australia because of his refusal to get the coronavirus jab.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Civil liberties groups are concerned about the way the government handled the situation and even warned how democracy could be under threat.

Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Greg Barns, SC, said in a statement that this case sets a dangerous precedent.

"Our concern is the Federal Government's view that it did not have to prove that Mr Djokovic would foster views about vaccination that are contrary to the government, but simply that he may foster those sentiments," he said.

"This is a very low bar for excluding a person from Australia particularly in circumstances where the power to review or appeal the decision is so limited.

"Using the criteria of a possible risk to public order as a reason to refuse a person entry into the country is troubling in a society supposedly committed to freedom of speech and freedom of thought."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

He added that the government could cancel someone's visa simply because they said something negative about Australia.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the federal government used comments Djokovic made back in 2020 (before the Covid-19 jab had even been created) about vaccinations in general against him in their case to re-cancel his visa.

He allegedly said he was 'opposed to vaccination', admitted that he wasn't an 'expert' in the field, and would choose whatever was 'best for my body'.

Pauline Wright, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said the government was drawing a long bow to think he was a poster boy for the anti-vaxx movement.

"Do the comments in 2020 disentitle him from playing a tennis game in Australia in 2022?" she said.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"Does that really pose such a threat to public health in a situation where we've got 95 per cent of the adult population vaccinated?"

Michael Stanton, president of Liberty Victoria, added: "It's very different from [denying a visa] for someone who has expressly said something about inciting violence or encouraging unrest.

"The reliance on how someone might be perceived sets an impossible standard for that person to meet."

The government has confirmed Djokovic will be banned from coming to Australia for three years as a result of his deportation.

However, there is a clause that allows the Serbian star to request an exemption if he wanted to come Down Under to compete in the Australian Open next year or the year after.

Topics: Novak Djokovic, Australia

Stewart Perrie
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Entertainment

Blonde viewers hit out at ‘f**cking distasteful’ death scene where Marilyn Monroe actually died

12 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Jeffrey Dahmer's mum said son 'didn't mean to hurt anyone' and wasn't a monster

6 hours ago