Husband gave evidence at closed session

Date: 2006-02-24

Ann O'Loughlin

ADOPTION 'dad' Joseph Dowse travelled to the High Court from Azerbaijan to give evidence in the case, in a session held "in camera", or in private.
Yesterday, the solicitor for the Dowse family, Gus Cullen, said the couple were very satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr Dowse is from Co Wicklow.

The Registrar of the Adoption Board, Kieran Gildea, said the entry of the name of Tristan Dowse on the Register of Foreign Adoption would be deleted as directed by the High Court judgment.

In one of his judgments yesterday, Mr Justice John McMenamin said it is a fundamental principle of Irish law that justice should be administered in public, and that the administration of justice in public is an essential feature of a truly democratic society.

The court, he said must have regard to the fact that the position in regard to Tristan Dowse is already very much in the public domain in this country.

"His circumstances have already been the subject of extensive public discussion and comment. This renders the position quite distinct from the ordinary realm of family law cases which are heard in private and where judgment are issued protecting the anonymity of the parties," the judge said.

The welfare of the minor, he said must at all times remain paramount.

He said he did not think there is any reality to the exclusion of the names of the parties in the proceedings as the matter has also received a very considerable amount of publicity here and elsewhere.

He ruled that the full provisions of the order should be published if only for the purely practical reason to correct any false impression created here and having regard to the possibility that the matter might come into the public domain in a manner which might be prejudicial to Tristan's interests.

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