Richard Barrett is an Irish barrister and government lawyer, educated at the National University of Ireland, the London School of Economics and Kings Inns Dublin. He was in practice as a barrister for 10 years before joining the Irish Attorney General’s Office as a legal adviser principally in the areas of justice, human rights and electoral matters. In that role he has participated in reviewing the court structure, police powers and security powers in the light of the Northern Ireland Peace agreement. He was later Deputy Head of that Office until 2019.
From 2000 to 2002 he was the Head of Public Law at the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina advising on the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords. During this period he advised on the talks aimed at resolving the succession to the assets of the former Yugoslavia.
From 2003 to 2006 he was the Bureau Legal Officer at the Criminal Assets Bureau in Dublin advising on the use of taxation and civil forfeiture powers in relation to the proceeds of crime. He advised on models for the use of such powers in some eastern European states.
In 2011 and 2012 he was Head of the Legal and Human Rights Office at the EULEX Rule of Law mission in Kosovo. In recent years he acted as an election law expert with the European Union on election missions in Sudan, South Sudan, Zambia, Kenya and Afghanistan.
Since 2014 he is the member of the Venice Commission in respect of Ireland and now Chair of its Sub-Commission on the Judiciary.