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.

  • Can GSOC get the Garda Síochána to investigate the matter I reported?

    No. We can look into whether any gardaí were in breach of discipline for any neglect of duty, or lack of action. We cannot oblige them to take any action. 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
  • Is GSOC part of the Garda Síochána?

    No, we are an independent body. 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
  • 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 happens following a referral under section 102?

    If a matter is referred to GSOC under section 102, GSOC must investigate, with a view to establishing the facts of the situation and clarifying whether it may have resulted from garda misconduct. In many cases, this will require a GSOC investigator or team of investigators to attend the scene of an incident and work closely with An Garda Síochána teams there. Read More