What should I expect if I am involved in a matter referred to GSOC?
If you are involved in a matter which is referred to GSOC, you will most likely be aware of this fact at the time. Otherwise you may find out when you are contacted by a GSOC investigator working on the case and asked to assist in establishing the facts.
During the initial examination of the matter under section 91 or any subsequent investigation under section 95 or 98, you may be asked to give a statement, produce notes, provide evidence, or assist GSOC with establishing the facts in other ways. Forensic examinations may take place and you may be asked for physical items of potential evidential value. For example, your clothing or items of equipment may need to be examined for firearms residue, blood or signs of a struggle. You may also be asked to undergo a medical examination, if appropriate. All of this is to objectively establish the facts and corroborate accounts given. It is normal investigative practice.
If your involvement in the incident which took place is being looked into during the investigation, it does not necessarily mean that you are suspected of an offence or a breach of discipline. If you are, you will be given the opportunity to explain. In accordance with your legal right, you will be cautioned before interview if the investigator considers you in jeopardy of prosecution.
How long the investigation will take depends on the complexity of the case, time taken to receive evidence and submissions or statements, and the stages involved. For example, if the file is sent to the DPP following an investigation, the time for the DPP to make a decision and any subsequent criminal justice process will extend the timeline.
If you are subject of an investigation, you will be notified of this and you are entitled to be kept informed of its progress in accordance with section 103(1)(b) of the Act. You can contact the GSOC investigator to enquire about progress, or raise any concerns, at any time.