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.
  • If the complaint alleges a breach of discipline and GSOC proposes that you try to resolve it informally through a GSOC case officer, rather than via a formal disciplinary process, you have the right to agree or refuse. If you agree, you have the right to complete confidentiality during the process. Also, An Garda Síochána must delete and destroy any record of the complaint, if it is resolved informally.
  • If the complaint alleges a breach of discipline and is being investigated under section 94 of the Act, your rights and
    entitlements are laid out in the Discipline Regulations.
  • If GSOC is investigating a non-criminal matter under section 95 of the Act, your rights are laid out in that section and are, essentially, that you will be given an opportunity “to be heard” and “to present evidence and make submissions”. Section 96 states that, in such cases, you are required to provide any “information, document, or thing” and “attend before the Commission if required by the investigation”.
  • If the complaint concerns a possible criminal matter and is being investigated under section 98 of the Act, the GSOC investigator has “all the powers, immunities and privileges conferred and all the duties imposed on a member of the Garda Síochána”. In this context, you have the same rights as any other citizen.
  • Is GSOC part of the Garda Síochána?

    No, we are an independent body. Read More
  • Will GSOC send my complaint back to the Garda Síochána?

    If your complaint is dealt with by informal resolution or if it is a criminal matter, it will be dealt with by a GSOC officer. If it is about a possible breach of Garda discipline, then it will most likely be dealt with by a senior Garda officer on our behalf. Sometimes GSOC will decide to supervise these investigations. If we do not supervise and you are unhappy with the outcome, you are entitled to ask us to review how the investigation was undertaken by the Garda officer. Read More
  • Can GSOC get the Garda Síochána to return my property?

    No. If your property is part of a Garda investigation, it will be held until the investigation is complete. Then you must ask the Garda Síochána for it back directly. If you cannot get your property back at that stage, GSOC can look into whether any gardaí were in breach of discipline for not returning it. However, while this could result in disciplinary action against a garda, it is not guaranteed to get you your property back. 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
  • Why am I told that an inadmissible complaint has been made against me and nothing more?

    If you receive a letter saying a complaint was made against you but was deemed inadmissible, this means that no action will be taken in relation to it by the Garda Ombudsman, that is, it will not be admitted for investigation. 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