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.

  • What information can GSOC disclose about its investigations

    In deciding what and to whom certain information is disclosed, GSOC must balance its confidentiality and privacy obligations with its duty to be transparent and open in its work. People directly involved in GSOC investigations—including the people who make complaints and the gardaí who are the subject of investigations—have a legal right to be kept informed of the progress of the investigation which relates to them (click below for more information). Read More
  • Can I make a complaint to GSOC about garda misconduct myself?

    Under the Garda Síochána Act, 2005, a Garda member cannot make a complaint about Garda behaviour in the same way that a member of the public can. However, under the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014, gardaí and others working for the Garda Síochána may now confidentially disclose allegations of wrongdoings within the Garda Síochána, to a member of the Ombudsman Commission. Find out more information by clicking the Protected disclosures link on the right hand side of the page. Read More
  • Will GSOC send my complaint back to the Garda Síochána?

    Complaints involving criminal matters are dealt with by a GSOC officer. If it's about a possible breach of Garda discipline, then it will likely be dealt with by a senior Garda officer on our behalf. Sometimes GSOC supervise these investigations. If it's about a possible breach of Garda discipline, and it's deemed suitable, you may have the option of having the matter resolved through Local Intervention. If you agree to this your complaint will be sent to a Garda Inspector. Read More
  • What powers do GSOC officers have?

    In criminal investigations, GSOC officers have all the powers, immunities and privileges conferred on, and all the duties imposed on, any member of the Garda Síochána. However, unlike members of the Garda Síochána. Read More
  • 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. Read More
  • How is Local Intervention done?

    The Local Intervention process is aimed at resolving certain service-level types of complaints against members of the Garda Síochána at a local level without the need for the matter to enter a formal complaints process. Read More