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
  • If a matter is referred to GSOC, does An Garda Síochána have no further involvement in its i

    Chapter 4 and Appendices A and B of the Protocols between the two organisations are about investigations that coincide. Where a referral is made to it by An Garda Síochána, GSOC has a responsibility to investigate the matter, and this may include investigation of civilian behaviour as well as garda behaviour. Read More
  • What are my rights and obligations if a complaint is made against me?

    Your rights and obligations depend on the nature of the complaint and the way that it is investigated, or dealt with. 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 by clicking on Protected Disclosures. Read More
  • How will I be notified of a complaint made against me?

    Depending on whether the complaint is admissible or inadmissible, and depending on how it is to be dealt with if it is admissible, there are different notification processes set out in the Act. Read More
  • Can GSOC have my car released?

    Cars can only be released on payment of the relevant fine. Depending on who issued the fine, there are different appeals processes in place to try to get your money back if you believe the fine was unjustified. Read More