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.