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.
  • How is Informal Resolution done?

    It is a means of resolving situations more quickly and effectively and without the need for a formal investigation under the Discipline Regulations. Time taken to close these cases is about one-third of the time taken to close formal disciplinary investigations. 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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. 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