Novak Djokovic’s lawyers were expected to challenge the Australian immigration minister’s decision to revoke his visa on Saturday morning, but experts said he would find it much harder than his first trial.
Djokovic was due to meet with immigration officials in Australia on Saturday morning and go to court for a hearing at 10:15 a.m. before Judge David O’Callaghan of the Federal Court of Australia.
If he doesn’t simply want to comply with the cancellation and leave the country, he will have to file for a court order to prevent Australian authorities from deporting him while his lawyers appeal, according to Mary Anne Kenny, an associate professor of law at Murdoch. university.
That would allow him to remain in the country, but he would most likely be kept in immigration detention, where he was held for five days before being charged for the first time.
He could, however, apply for a bridging visa from the government to stay out of immigration detention and to continue playing tennis. But according to Daniel Estrin, an immigration lawyer, it is unlikely that Djokovic will get such a visa, as he would have to abide by the condition that he cannot work. His participation in the Australian Open starting Monday would then disqualify him.
But because immigration minister Alex Hawke’s discretionary powers are so broad, Estrin and Kenny said Djokovic would find it significantly more difficult than his first appeal.
The minister only had to show that Djokovic could pose a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community, Estrin said. That’s a very low threshold — “anyone can pose a risk to the Australian community if you look at it very broadly” — which makes it extremely difficult for Djokovic to substantiate his case, he added.
Instead, Djokovic would have to prove that Hawke made a “error of jurisdiction” or misapplied the law, Estrin said — a much higher legal threshold.
Djokovic’s lawyers should not repeat his case or argue that he should have entered Australia, Estrin said, meaning that, as with his first appeal, he would have to succeed on procedural grounds.
“The court does not look at whether the minister has made the right decision,” Estrin said. “The court will only look at whether the minister has committed an error of law.”