- Djokovic v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs  FCAFC 3
Migration law – ministerial satisfaction – public interest
Djokovic v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs  FCAFC 3 (Allsop CJ, Besanko and O’Callaghan JJ)
Few readers will be unaware of the orders in Djokovic v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs which were made on the day of hearing on an urgent basis. The reasons of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia followed later, and traverse significant matters of judicial review and migration law. In a joint judgment, the Full Court dismissed the applicant’s application for judicial review of the cancellation of his visa by the Minister.
The applicant is a skilled and famous player of tennis who at all material times was ranked number one male player in the world. He has a high media profile and a status as role model which extends beyond tennis fans into the larger Australian community. In mid-2020 (that is, well before any COVID-19 vaccines had actually been developed) he had publicly espoused anti-vaccination views in respect of COVID-19. These views had been the subject of considerable media coverage during 2020, 2021 and 2022. After vaccines were developed, there was no evidence he had undergone vaccination, nor that he had altered or disclaimed his earlier-espoused anti-vaccination views. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the applicant acquired SARS-COV-2, testing positive on 16 December 2021. On 18 December 2021, knowing he was currently COVID-positive, the applicant attended a photoshoot for French sports newspaper L’Équipe, for part of which photoshoot he was unmasked. The applicant had then tested negative for SARS-COV-2 on 22 December 2021, before flying to Australia on 5 January 2022 on a Temporary Activity visa, with a view to competing in the Australia Open tennis competition scheduled to begin a fortnight later.