S.I. No. 214 of 2007
Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007
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I, Michael McDowell, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 123 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (No. 20 of 2005), after consulting with the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána and with the approval of the Government, hereby make the following regulations:
1.These regulations may be cited as the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007.
2.These regulations come into operation on 1 June 2007.
3.(1)In these regulations -
“act” includes omission, and references to the doing of an act include references to the making of an omission;
“Act” means the Garda Síochána Act 2005;
“appointing officer” has the meaning given to it in Regulation 14(2);
“breach of discipline” has the meaning given to it by Regulation 5 and “in breach of discipline” is to be construed accordingly;
“Commissioner” means -
(a)the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána,
(b)a deputy commissioner, or an assistant commissioner, when performing functions of the Commissioner in accordance with an authorisation in that behalf under section 32, or
(c)a member not below the rank of chief superintendent, when performing any of the Commissioner’s functions under these regulations that have been duly delegated to him or her.
“deciding officer” means a member appointed under Regulation 14(1).
“disciplinary action” means a disciplinary action specified in Regulation 10, 14(3) or 22;
“disciplinary proceedings” means any informal process, interview, investigation, inquiry, review, or appeal, conducted in accordance with these regulations;
“interview” means an interview referred to in Part 2;
“informal process” means any process for the informal resolution of minor breaches of discipline in accordance with Regulation 10;
“member” means -
(a)a member of the Garda Síochána, except the Commissioner,
(b)a reserve member, and
(c)a seconded member of the Police Service of Northern Ireland;
“member concerned” means a member who is believed to be, alleged to be or found to have been in breach of discipline;
“Minister” means the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform;
“reserve member” means a person appointed as a reserve member of the Garda Síochána under section 15.
(2)References in these regulations to a section are references to a section of the Act.
Taking account of record of service, etc.
4.Where the imposition of a disciplinary sanction is being considered in disciplinary proceedings -
(a)due regard shall be had to the record of service, previous conduct and circumstances of the member concerned and to any other relevant matter,
(b)submissions may be received from any person for that purpose, and
(c)the member concerned and any person accompanying the member at the proceedings shall be given an opportunity to make oral or, where appropriate, written submissions with regard to such matters.
Breach of discipline
5.Any act or conduct by a member which is mentioned in the Schedule constitutes a breach of discipline.
Restriction on delegation by Commissioner of functions under these regulations
6.(1)A delegation in writing by the Commissioner in accordance with section 31 of any functions to which this regulation applies may be made only to a member, or members of a specified rank, not below the rank of chief superintendent.
(2)Such a delegation may be made subject to any such terms, conditions or restrictions as may be determined by the Commissioner.
(3)This regulation applies to any of the Commissioner’s functions under these regulations except those relating to dismissal, a requirement to retire or resign as an alternative to dismissal or a reduction in rank.
Suspension of member
7.(1)Where, in the opinion of the Commissioner, the circumstances render such a course desirable in the interests of the Garda Síochána, he or she may suspend a member from duty.
(2)A member so suspended remains suspended until the Commissioner decides that the suspension should cease.
(3)The Commissioner shall review the suspension of a member every 3 months or at such shorter intervals as he or she considers necessary, but any non-compliance with this paragraph does not of itself invalidate a suspension.
(4)A member to whom the function of suspending a member is delegated by the Commissioner may not suspend a member for a period exceeding 10 days, but the Commissioner may extend the suspension.
(5)A member who is suspended and is required by the Commissioner or the Government, as the case may be, to retire or resign as an alternative to dismissal, remains suspended during the period of any notice of retirement or resignation that may be given.
Disciplinary proceedings and any related criminal proceedings.
8.(1)Disciplinary proceedings may be taken against a member under these regulations notwithstanding that proceedings for an offence have been or may be instituted against the member arising out of the same circumstances.
(2)Where a member has been acquitted on the merits of an offence, proceedings under these regulations for an alleged breach of discipline shall not be commenced or, if already commenced, continued if -
(a)the proceedings would involve conducting an inquiry into the same issues in respect of which the member was so acquitted, and
(b)in all the circumstances of the particular case and their cumulative effect, it would be unfair and oppressive to commence or continue the proceedings.
(3)Where the District Court, without proceeding to a conviction, finds the facts alleged in a criminal charge to have been proved against a member, the Government, the Commissioner, a board of inquiry or an Appeal Board is entitled to rely on the finding as conclusive.
(4)Any information, document or thing which the member concerned is required to provide or produce in disciplinary proceedings and which is related to and used for the purposes of such proceedings is not admissible in criminal proceedings, unless provided or produced by the member in those proceedings.
(5)The content of paragraph (4) shall be explained in ordinary language to the member concerned by the person or body conducting the disciplinary proceedings.
Standard of proof
9.In any disciplinary proceedings proof of a breach of discipline is to be established on the balance of probabilities.
Informal resolution of minor breaches
10.Notwithstanding anything in these regulations, a member whose duties include the supervision of another member may deal informally with a minor breach of discipline by that other member, whether by advice, caution or warning, as the circumstances may require.
Reports or statements by board of inquiry or Appeal Board to be privileged
11.For the purposes of the law of defamation -
(a)utterances by a member of a board of inquiry or an Appeal Board, and
(b)statements in reports or other documents prepared by such a member or an Appeal Board,
in the performance of functions under these regulations are privileged, wherever and whenever published.
Obligation to answer truthfully in disciplinary proceedings
12.Any person (including the member concerned) who is required to attend disciplinary proceedings -
(a)shall answer fully and truthfully any question put during the proceedings, and
(b)if so requested by a person conducting the proceedings, shall sign a declaration as to the truth of his or her answer to any such question.
13.Any proceedings in relation to a member under the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 1989 (S.I. No. 94 of 1989) which were commenced but not concluded before the commencement of these regulations may be continued as if these regulations had not been made.
Less serious breaches of discipline
Appointment of deciding officer
(a)it appears that a member may be in breach of discipline and subject to one of the disciplinary actions specified in paragraph (3), and
(b)the breach is not being dealt with under Regulation 10,
a member not below the rank of superintendent (in these regulations referred to as a “deciding officer”) shall be appointed to investigate the alleged breach and interview the member concerned.
(2)The appointment shall be made by a member (in these regulations referred to as an “appointing officer”) who is not below the rank of chief superintendent.
(3)The following disciplinary actions are specified for the purposes of paragraph (1):
(a)reduction in pay not exceeding 2 weeks’ pay,
(4)A reduction in pay under paragraph 3(a) shall not, in respect of any breaches of discipline arising out of the same set of circumstances, exceed 2 weeks’ pay, and the amount deducted in any one week shall not exceed 10 per cent of weekly pay.
(5)The appointing officer shall ensure that the deciding officer has not been involved in any capacity in relation to an earlier aspect of the case.
(6)Subject to paragraph (7), the deciding officer may, before or during an interview with the member concerned or during any adjournment of such an interview, undertake any enquiries, and adopt any procedures, that he or she considers necessary, with a view to, in particular -
(a)establishing the facts of the matter under investigation, and
(b)identifying or resolving any conflicts or differences that may come to light during the investigation.
(7)The deciding officer may direct a member not below the rank of inspector to undertake any of the enquiries mentioned in paragraph (6).
Notice of interview
15.(1)The deciding officer shall send to the member concerned a notice specifying the time, date and place of the interview at least 14 days beforehand.
(2)The notice shall state -
(a)the grounds on which it appears that the member may have been in breach of discipline, and
(b)that the purpose of the interview is to enable the deciding officer to determine whether that is so.
(3)The notice shall also state -
(a)that, if a breach of discipline is established, the deciding officer may decide to impose one of the sanctions specified in Regulation 14(3),
(b)that at the interview the member may give any explanation or make any statement in relation to the matter and in particular may -
(i)admit or deny the alleged breach of discipline,
(ii)accept that any of the statements supplied under paragraph (4) are wholly or partly true, but deny that the facts stated in them constitute a breach of discipline, or
(iii)deny the alleged breach of discipline but accept that the facts so stated constitute another such breach, and
(c)that the member may seek advice from his or her representative association and may be accompanied at the interview only by an official of that association or by another member of his or her choice.
(4)The notice shall be accompanied by copies of any written statements or other documents relating to the alleged breach of discipline which are in the possession of the deciding officer arising out of enquiries made under paragraph (6) or (7) of Regulation 14.
(5)Copies of the notice and any accompanying statements or documents shall be sent by the deciding officer to the appointing officer.
(6)Not later than 10 days after receiving the notice, the member may request the appointing officer in writing to arrange for the interview to be conducted by another deciding officer, and the appointing officer shall then appoint another member in accordance with Regulation 14 to be the deciding officer for that purpose.
(7)The member concerned may make a request under paragraph (6) on one occasion only.
(8)The deciding officer may extend any period specified in this regulation if satisfied that it is appropriate to do so.
Procedure where breach of discipline admitted by member concerned
16.(1)This regulation applies where -
(a)the member, within 7 days after receipt of the notice referred to in Regulation 15(1), admits the breach of discipline alleged and informs the appointing officer in writing that he or she wishes to have it dealt with under this regulation, and
(b)in the opinion of the appointing officer, the breach is such that it may appropriately be so dealt with by the deciding officer.
(2)Where this regulation applies, the deciding officer may, after interviewing the member concerned and considering any statement made by him or her, decide to take one of the disciplinary actions mentioned in Regulation 14(3).
(3)The deciding officer shall send a notice conveying his or her decision to the member, who shall note the decision on the notice and return the notice to the deciding officer who shall, within 14 days after the interview, send a report on the matter to the appointing officer.
(4)A reduction in pay under paragraph (2) shall not, in respect of any breaches of discipline arising out of the same set of circumstances, exceed one week’s pay, and the amount deducted in any one week shall not exceed 10 per cent of weekly pay.
(a)the deciding officer becomes of opinion that the breach of discipline may not appropriately be dealt with under this regulation, or
(b)during the interview, the member concerned indicates that he or she wishes to withdraw the admission of the breach of discipline,
the deciding officer shall send a notice to the member informing him or her that the breach of discipline in question shall be dealt with as if this regulation had not been invoked and inform the appointing officer accordingly.
Conduct of interview with deciding officer
17.(1)Where Regulation 16 does not apply, the deciding officer shall explain in ordinary language to the member concerned, at the outset of the interview, why it appears that the member may have been in breach of discipline and give the member an opportunity to respond, in accordance with Regulation 15(3)(b).
(2)If the member concerned is accompanied at the interview by an official of his or her representative association or another member of his or her choice, the official or other member may make oral or written submissions to the deciding officer on the member’s behalf.
(3)The deciding officer may adjourn an interview to a specified time or date if it appears to him or her expedient to do so.
(4)On the conclusion of the interview, the deciding officer shall inform the member concerned -
(a)of his or her decision and, if the decision is that the member is in breach of discipline, of the disciplinary action that he or she has decided should be taken in respect of the breach,
(b)that the member will receive in due course from the appointing officer a copy of the deciding officer’s report of the interview, and
(c)that the member may apply to the appointing officer in writing, within 7 days after receiving the report, for a review of the deciding officer’s decision.
Report of interview
18.(1)The deciding officer shall prepare a report of the interview and transmit it to the appointing officer within 14 days after the interview was held.
(2)The report shall include the decision of the deciding officer as to -
(a)whether the member concerned was in breach of discipline and, if so, the reasons for the decision,
(b)the conduct constituting any such breach, and
(c)the disciplinary action (if any) to be taken.
Review of deciding officer’s decision
19.(1)Within 14 days after receiving the deciding officer’s report, the appointing officer shall send a copy of the report to the member concerned and notify the member that he or she may apply in writing to the appointing officer, within 7 days after receiving the copy and notification, to review the decision of the deciding officer.
(2)The application for review shall set out one or more than one of the grounds specified in paragraph (5).
(3)The application may relate to the deciding officer’s decision regarding -
(a)either the breach of discipline or the disciplinary sanction, or
(b)both the breach and the disciplinary sanction.
(4)The appointing officer may extend the period of 7 days mentioned in paragraph (1) if satisfied that it is appropriate to do so.
(5)The decision of the deciding officer may be reviewed by the appointing officer on one or more than one of the following grounds:
(a)specified provisions of these regulations were not complied with;
(b)the decision is not justified having regard to the information given by or on behalf of the member during the interview;
(c)all the relevant facts -
(i)were not ascertained or disclosed,
(ii)were not considered, or
(iii)were not considered in a reasonable manner;
(d)the member was not given a reasonable opportunity to answer the allegation;
(e)the disciplinary action imposed is disproportionate in relation to the breach of discipline concerned.
(6)If an application for review is not received by the appointing officer within the period specified in paragraph (1), the disciplinary action shall be implemented.
Conduct of review
20.(1)As soon as practicable after receiving an application for review, the appointing officer shall consider -
(a)the report of the interview,
(b)any comments on the report received by the appointing officer from the member concerned,
(c)the grounds for seeking the review as set out by the member, and
(d)any other documentation related to the proceedings.
(2)The appointing officer may request clarification in writing -
(a)from the deciding officer in respect of any aspect of the interview or of his or her decision, and send a copy of the clarification to the member concerned, or
(b)from the member concerned in respect of any of his or her grounds for seeking the review and send a copy of the clarification to the deciding officer.
(3)The appointing officer may, if he or she considers it necessary for the purpose of the review, interview the deciding officer, the member concerned or any other member or person.
(4)At any such interview with the member concerned, the member may be accompanied only by an official of his or her representative association or another member of his or her choice.
(5)The appointing officer -
(a)shall conclude the review within 14 days of receiving the application for review,
(b)may decide to affirm, vary or quash the decision of the deciding officer, and
(c)shall notify the Commissioner, the member concerned and the deciding officer accordingly.
(6)The decision of the appointing officer on the application for review is final.
Dealing with breach of discipline otherwise than under this Part
21.Notwithstanding anything in this Part, if at any time it appears to a deciding officer or an appointing officer that the circumstances relating to an alleged breach of discipline are such that -
(a)it would be appropriate to have the alleged breach dealt with informally under Regulation 10, or
(b)it should be referred to the Commissioner to consider whether it should be dealt with under Part 3,
the deciding officer (with the approval of the appointing officer) or the appointing officer shall proceed accordingly and so inform the member concerned.
Serious breaches of discipline
Definitions (Part 3)