Can GSOC prosecute or impose penalties or sanctions?


No, GSOC is an investigative agency only. Following a criminal investigation by GSOC, the DPP takes a decision based on the investigation file whether to prosecute or not. Following disciplinary investigations, the Garda Commissioner takes decisions on any appropriate sanctions or actions.

No, GSOC is an investigative agency only.

GSOC does not have the power that the Garda Síochána has to bring cases to court on behalf of the DPP; at the conclusion of a criminal investigation, a file may be sent to the DPP with a recommendation and the DPP takes a decision based on the investigation file whether to prosecute or not.

Decisions and the imposition of any sanctions following disciplinary investigations under section 94(1) are fully dealt with by An Garda Síochána, with no input from GSOC.

At the conclusion of a supervised disciplinary investigation under section 94(5), a report may be sent by the GSOC supervising officer to the Garda Commissioner, with a recommendation.

At the conclusion of a non-criminal investigation under section 95, a report must be sent by the GSOC investigating officer to the Garda Commissioner with a recommendation.

In both of the above instances, the Garda Commissioner appoints another officer, of superintendent level or higher, to review the report. This Garda Síochána officer will decide on the matter – whether that is to implement a disciplinary sanction should they believe a member to be in breach, or to recommend that a Board of Inquiry be established in more serious cases.

  • Who can I talk to if I am concerned about a GSOC investigation?

    If you have any general questions about the way GSOC operates which are not answered here, we will do our best to answer them. Your GSOC case officer can discuss any case-specific concerns with you. An Garda Síochána Employee Assistance Service is a confidential service to discuss any life situation causing concern. Read More
  • What should I expect if I am involved in a matter referred to GSOC?

    If you are involved in a matter which is referred to GSOC, you will most likely be aware of this fact at the time. Otherwise you may find out when you are contacted by a GSOC investigator working on the case and asked to assist in establishing the facts. Read More
  • Will GSOC send my complaint back to the Garda Síochána?

    If your complaint is dealt with by informal resolution or if it is a criminal matter, it will be dealt with by a GSOC officer. If it is about a possible breach of Garda discipline, then it will most likely be dealt with by a senior Garda officer on our behalf. Sometimes GSOC will decide to supervise these investigations. If we do not supervise and you are unhappy with the outcome, you are entitled to ask us to review how the investigation was undertaken by the Garda officer. Read More
  • If GSOC wants to interview me, what can I expect?

    GSOC investigators will make every reasonable effort to accommodate gardaí they need to interview, in terms of date, time and location. Read More
  • How long do complaint investigations typically take?

    The time taken to close an investigation depends on the level of complexity of the case, but to get an indicator, you can look in the Publications section of the website to find the median time taken to close investigations by type, per quarter. Read More
  • Can I make a complaint about a GSOC staff member?

    Yes. We have a complaints process, whereby complaints about our staff are handled in line with the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour. This Code sets out the standards required by all civil servants, including GSOC staff. Read More