Scotland's most senior police officer is to investigate Northern Constabulary's complaints procedure.
The independent review follows the death of Kevin McLeod, who died in Wick Harbour in 1997.
His family have always claimed his death was suspicious and complained about the police's handling of the case.
Now, Sir Roy Cameron, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, is to review the force's complaints handling process.
The chief constable of Northern Constabulary, Ian Latimer, had insisted there was no need for an outside force to investigate police procedures.
Sir Roy Cameron: Review
Police investigations of Mr McLeod's death led to criticism from his family.
His body was found in Wick Harbour in February 1997, with massive internal injuries.
During the original investigation, police put Mr McLeod's injuries down to falling on a 3ft bollard before plunging into the harbour.
However, his family believes that he was the victim of foul play.
They have long criticised Northern Constabulary and accused them of a cover-up.
Sir Roy, the former chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police, will produce a report on the northern force's complaints process later this year.
Mr McLeod's family has welcomed the investigation.