What is an inquiry?

An inquiry is a procedure used to investigate and collect information on a particular subject. It can be carried out by police authorities, government agencies, companies or even academic researchers.

How does an inquiry work?

At the beginning of the inquiry, a investigation is assigned, who may be a police delegate, a prosecutor or other trained professional. This responsible will conduct the necessary steps to investigate the facts and gather evidence.

During the inquiry, several steps are performed, such as witness hearing, document analysis, technical expertise and interrogation of suspects. All collected material is recorded in a document called “Inquiry Notices”.

What is the purpose of an inquiry?

The purpose of an inquiry is to clarify the facts and gather evidence to support a possible criminal or administrative action. It serves as the basis for decision making by the competent authorities, such as the establishment of a judicial process or the application of disciplinary measures.

Importance of inquiry

Inquiry is a fundamental step in the justice system, as it allows impartial investigation and the search for the truth of the facts. It guarantees the right to the contradictory and the broad defense, ensuring that all parties involved have the opportunity to present their versions and evidence.

Types of Inquiry

There are different types of inquiry, according to the area of ​​expertise and the purpose of the investigation. Some examples are:

  1. Police Inquiry: Used to investigate crimes and identify their perpetrators;
  2. Administrative Inquiry: performed by government agencies to investigate irregularities in the public service;
  3. Parliamentary Inquiry: conducted by parliamentary committees to investigate facts of public interest;
  4. Civil Inquiry: carried out by the Public Prosecution Service to investigate collective rights violations;
  5. Academic Inquiry: conducted by researchers to investigate a particular study theme.


hearings testimonies of witnesses and involved in the case.
Document Analysis Examination of records, contracts, reports, among others.
Technical Skills Traces analysis, such as fingerprints and DNA.
Interrogations Questions made to the suspects.