Immigration Minister Alex Hawke welcomed the court's decision to uphold his cancelation of Novak Djokovic's visa. On Sunday, Djokovic lost his Australia visa appeal in the federal court. Chief Justice James Allsop said the decision to uphold Hawke's decision was unanimous.
"To be clear this is not an appeal against the decision of the executive government, it is an application to the court as a separate arm of government. ... to review the decision of the minister for the lawfulness or legality of the decision on the 3 grounds put forward," Chief Justice Justice Allsop said.
"These grounds focused on whether the decision was, for different reasons, irrational or legally unreasonable. It is no part of the function of the court to decide upon the merit or wisdom of the decision."
Hawke reacts to Djokovic losing his appeal
On Friday, Hawke exercised his power to cancel the visa of 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic.
"I welcome today’s unanimous decision by the Full Federal Court of Australia, upholding my decision to exercise my power under the Migration Act to cancel Mr Novak Djokovic’s visa in the public interest," Hawke said in a statement.
"Australia’s strong border protection policies have kept us safe during the pandemic, resulting in one of the lowest death rates, strongest economic recoveries, and highest vaccination rates in the world. Strong border protection policies are also fundamental to safe-guarding Australia’s social cohesion which continues to strengthen despite the pandemic.
"Australians have made great sacrifices to get to this point and the Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting this position, as the Australian people expect. "To date around 43 million vaccination doses have been administered in Australia and more than 91.6% of Australians aged 16 years and over are fully vaccinated.
"Accordingly, Australia has been able to commence a step-by-step, safe reopening of its international border as a result of this successful vaccination program."