Novak…and strata?

By Chris Irons

What do the Novak Djokovic case and body corporate decision-making have in common?

A fair bit, as it turns out.

In both scenarios, it’s all about reasonableness.

When we look at the Djokovic case, the Judge said, among many other things, that…

…the visa cancellation was unreasonable because:

  • Djokovic was told at 5.20am last Thursday morning that he could have until 8.30am to provide comments in response to the notice of intention to consider cancellation under section 116 of the Migration Act.
  • Djokovic’s comments were then sought at 6.14am instead and the Border Force official made the decision at 7.42am. “The applicant was thus denied until 8.30am to make some comments,” Judge Kelly said.
  • If Djokovic had until 8.30am, Judge Kelly said he could have consulted others and made submissions about why his visa should not be cancelled.


Looking at these comments, it seems the Judge is saying ‘Nole’ was not given reasonable time, and also, that a reasonable process was not followed.

That sounds familiar to some in strata, I’m sure.

Remember, bodies corporate have a statutory obligation to act reasonably in anything they do. When strata decisions are made not giving reasonable time (e.g., not giving an accused party enough time to respond to a by-law breach notice), or a reasonable process is not followed (e.g., by-laws are enforced against some, not all, occupier), you can almost guarantee that problems will arise. The likelihood that an adjudicator would find these things ‘unreasonable’ is pretty high.

Moral of the story? Following proper process and allowing adequate opportunity for an accused party to respond, are integral parts of acting reasonably – whether it’s strata or the world no.1.

(Note: for the sake of transparency, we acknowledge Strata Solve are definitely Federer/Nadal fans.)

[Photo credit: (CC BY 2.0) Andrew Campbell, wikimedia commons.]

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