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.
  • 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
  • Can GSOC have my car released?

    Cars can only be released on payment of the relevant fine. Depending on who issued the fine, there are different appeals processes in place to try to get your money back if you believe the fine was unjustified. Read More
  • How long do complaint investigations typically take?

    The time taken to close an investigation depends on the level of complexity of the case, but to get an indicator, you can look in the Publications section of the website to find the median time taken to close investigations by type, per quarter. Read More
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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