Garda Síochána (Complaints) Act, 1986

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR No. 29/1986
Year1986


Number 29 of 1986


GARDA SÍOCHÁNA (COMPLAINTS) ACT, 1986


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Interpretation.

2.

Establishment day.

3.

The Garda Síochána Complaints Board.

4.

Complaints to Board.

5.

Informal resolution of complaints.

6.

Investigation of complaints.

7.

Functions of Board on completion of investigation of complaints.

8.

Tribunals.

9.

Reference of complaints to tribunals and disciplinary action.

10.

The Garda Síochána Complaints Appeal Board.

11.

Appeals to Appeal Board.

12.

Prohibition on unauthorised disclosure of information.

13.

Reports of Board.

14.

Membership of Houses of Oireachtas or Assembly of European Communities.

15.

Restriction of application of Act and restriction of application and amendment of Regulations and Dublin Police Act, 1924.

16.

Amendment of Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

17.

Expenses.

18.

Short title.

FIRST SCHEDULE

The Garda Síochána Complaints Board

SECOND SCHEDULE

Tribunals

THIRD SCHEDULE

The Garda Síochána Complaints Appeal Board

FOURTH SCHEDULE


Acts Referred to

Civil Service Commissioners Act, 1956

1956, No. 45

Civil Service Regulation Acts, 1956 and 1958

Criminal Justice Act, 1984

1984, No. 22

Dublin Police Act, 1924

1924, No. 31

European Assembly Elections Act, 1977

1977, No. 30

Police Forces Amalgamation Act, 1925

1925, No. 7


Number 29 of 1986


GARDA SÍOCHÁNA (COMPLAINTS) ACT, 1986


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR A SYSTEM OF INVESTIGATION AND ADJUDICATION OF COMPLAINTS MADE BY THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE CONDUCT OF MEMBERS OF THE GARDA SÍOCHÁNA (OTHER THAN THE COMMISSIONER OF THE GARDA SÍOCHÁNA), TO PROVIDE, FOR THOSE PURPOSES, FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARDS TO BE KNOWN AS THE GARDA SÍOCHÁNA COMPLAINTS BOARD AND THE GARDA SÍOCHÁNA COMPLAINTS APPEAL BOARD AND THE APPOINTMENT OF TRIBUNALS AND TO PROVIDE FOR CONNECTED MATTERS. [15th July, 1986]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Interpretation.

1.—(1) In this Act, save where the context otherwise requires—

“the Act of 1925” means the Police Forces Amalgamation Act, 1925 ;

“admissible complaint” means a complaint to which section 4 (3) (c) of this Act applies and “admissible” shall be construed accordingly;

“the Appeal Board” means the Garda Síochána Complaints Appeal Board established by section 10 of this Act;

“the Board” means the Garda Síochána Complaints Board established by section 3 of this Act;

“breach of discipline” means conduct specified in the Fourth Schedule to this Act and includes, other than in a case where paragraph (e) of section 7 (9) of this Act applies, non-compliance with paragraph (d) of the said section 7 (9) and also conduct constituting an offence in respect of which, after the date on which a complaint relating to that conduct was made, there is a conviction by a court of the member concerned and “in breach of discipline” shall be construed accordingly;

“the chief executive” has the meaning assigned to it by paragraph 4 (2) of the First Schedule to this Act;

“the Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána;

“complainant” means a person who makes a complaint orally, or sends or gives a complaint in writing, to the Board or to a member of the Garda Síochána and, in the case of a complaint so made, sent or given by a person through his solicitor or a parent, guardian or other person includes, where the context so requires, the solicitor of the person or a parent, guardian or other person, as the case may be;

“complaint” means a complaint under section 4 (1) (a) of this Act;

“conduct” means conduct (whether consisting of the doing of an act or the making of an omission) on or after the establishment day;

“establishment day” means the day appointed under section 2 of this Act to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act;

“investigating officer” means a member of the Garda Síochána appointed under section 6 of this Act to investigate an admissible complaint;

“legal representative” means a barrister or a solicitor;

“member” means a member of the Garda Síochána other than the Commissioner or a deputy commissioner, if and whenever he is exercising or performing any power or duty of the Commissioner during his absence or incapacity, pursuant to an authorisation of the Minister under section 8 (2) of the Act of 1925;

“member of the public” means a person other than a member of the Garda Síochána;

“the Minister” means the Minister for Justice;

“orally” does not include an oral communication transmitted by electronic means;

“tribunal” means a tribunal appointed under section 8 of this Act.

(2) Functions of the Commissioner under this Act may be performed by any member of the Garda Síochána authorised in that behalf by the Commissioner and references in this Act to the Commissioner shall be construed accordingly.

Establishment day.

2.—The Minister shall by order appoint a day to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act.

The Garda Síochána Complaints Board.

3.—(1) There shall, by virtue of this section, be established on the establishment day a board, to be known as the Garda Síochána Complaints Board and in this Act referred to as the Board, to perform the functions assigned to it by this Act.

(2) The provisions of the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect in relation to the Board.

Complaints to Board.

4.—(1) (a) A member of the public who is directly affected by, or who witnesses, any conduct of a member and who wishes to have a complaint concerning that conduct considered by the Board shall himself or through his solicitor or, in the case of a person under the age of seventeen years, through a parent or guardian or, in the case of a person who is mentally handicapped or mentally ill, through a parent or guardian or some other person interested in his welfare make a complaint in relation thereto orally, or send or give it in writing, to the Board at the office of the Board, to a member at a Garda Síochána station or to a member above the rank of chief superintendent at a place other than a Garda Síochána station within six months of the date of the conduct.

(b) A complainant who makes a complaint to a member under paragraph (a) of this subsection shall be presumed, for the purpose of that paragraph, to wish to have his complaint considered by the Board unless, at the time of the making of the complaint, he himself or the person through whom he makes the complaint requests otherwise in writing.

(2) (a) On receipt of a complaint by the Board, an officer of the Board shall record it forthwith, together with the date and time of its receipt, furnish an acknowledgment in writing of its receipt to the complainant and notify the Commissioner of the complaint (unless it appears to the officer that the notifications under paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (3) of this section in relation to the complaint will have been effected within 24 hours of the receipt of the complaint).

(b) On receipt of a complaint by a member at a Garda Síochána station—

(i) he shall record it forthwith, together with the date and time of its receipt, and furnish an acknowledgment in writing of its receipt to the complainant, and

(ii) the member in charge of the station at the time the complaint was received there shall notify, or cause to be notified, the chief executive and the Commissioner of the complaint as soon as may be after such receipt and send to each of them a copy of the complaint or, if the complaint was not in writing, a copy of the record of it.

(c) On receipt of a complaint by a member of the Garda Síochána above the rank of chief superintendent at a place other than a Garda Síochána station, he shall—

(i) record it forthwith, together with the date and time of its receipt, and furnish an acknowledgment in writing of its receipt to the complainant, and

(ii) notify the chief executive of the complaint as soon as may be after such receipt and send to him a copy of the complaint or, if the complaint was not in writing, a copy of the record of it.

(3) (a) On receipt by the Board of a complaint or of a notification under subsection (2) of this section, the chief executive shall consider whether the complaint is admissible and the complaint shall be admissible if the following conditions are satisfied—

(i) the complainant was a member of the public,

(ii) the complainant was directly affected by or witnessed the conduct alleged in the complaint,

(iii) the said conduct would constitute an offence or be conduct specified in the Fourth Schedule to this Act,

(iv) the date on which the said conduct was alleged to have occurred was on or after the establishment day and within six months before the date on which the complaint was made,

(v) the application of this Act to the said conduct did not, by virtue of section 15 of this Act, stand excluded on the date on which the complaint was made, and

(vi) the complaint is not frivolous or vexatious.

(b) If the chief executive is of opinion that a complaint is not admissible, he shall so notify in writing the complainant and the Commissioner and shall indicate in the notification the condition specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection that, in his opinion, is not satisfied as respects the complaint and shall, subject to paragraph (c) of this subsection, take no further action in the matter.

(c) If the chief executive is of opinion that a complaint is admissible, or the Board decides that a complaint to which paragraph (b) of this subsection applies is admissible, the chief executive shall, as soon as may be, so notify in writing the complainant and the Commissioner...

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