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.
GSOC’s investigative process begins with an initial examination of the matter, which will involve taking or reviewing accounts from gardaí and others and examining any other evidence available at that point. (This is provided for by section 91 of the Act.)In many cases, the initial examination clearly indicates no evidence of no evidence of misconduct by gardaí, and (if it was agreed that the possibility of offences by any civilians involved are to be investigated by An Garda Síochána) GSOC’s investigation can be closed, with no further action required.
If this cannot be immediately established, if a complaint is made in relation to the matter, or if there are other matters of concern, further investigation will be needed. Any further investigation will be in line with section 98 or 95 of the Act.