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John Q. Barrett


John Q. Barrett is a Professor of Law at St. John's University in New York City, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure and Legal History.  He also is the Elizabeth S. Lenna Fellow and a Board member at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York.  He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School.

Work on Justice Jackson:  Professor Barrett is writing a biography of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954).  This work will include the first inside account of Justice Jackson's service, by appointment of President Truman, as the chief prosecutor at Nuremberg, Germany, of the principal surviving Nazi leaders during 1945 and 1946.

The Jackson List: Professor Barrett sends occasional emails to tens of thousands of subscribers around the world who are interested in Justice Jackson and related topics. To read archived copies of Jackson List posts, click here. To join the Jackson List, which does not display recipient identities or email addresses, send a "subscribe" note to

Justice Jackson's book That Man: Fifty years after Robert H. Jackson's death, Professor Barrett discovered and edited Jackson's previously unknown manuscript, now an acclaimed book, That Man:  An Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Oxford University Press). That Man, an eloquent memoir of FDR from Jackson first meeting him in 1911 through their close working relationship and friendship during Roosevelt's presidency, the New Deal years and World War II, is both FDR biography and Jackson autobiography.

Some recent activities:  On June 28th, Professor Barrett lectured, at the Jewish Federation of Springfield, IL, about the Nuremberg trials. On June 9th, he spoke at a Nuremberg trials commemoration at the California Court of Appeal in Riverside. On May 16th, he delivered in Winnipeg the 11th annual Kanee Lecture, hosted by the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada. On May 4th, he delivered a lecture, "The History of the Nuremberg Trials," at a March of the Living International, Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights & Jagiellonian University symposium in Krakow, Poland (click here for video).  On April 29th, he spoke, also about the Nuremberg trials, at the Reform Temple of Forest Hill's Yom HaShoah commemoration service. On November 20, 2015, the 70th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg trial, Professor Barrett lectured in Courtroom 600 in Nuremberg's Palace of Justice and then moderated a conversation among three men who worked on the trial during 1945-46 (click here for video). On November 3, he lectured at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. In October 2015, he lectured at the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeals annual meeting, at a program hosted by Canada's National Judicial Institute, and at Daemen College. On August 6, he delivered a lecture, "Seventy Years Since London," at the U.S. Department of State. On July 8, at Chautauqua Institution, he introduced Professor Laurence H. Tribe's Robert Jackson Lecture on the Supreme Court (for video, click here). On May 28, he spoke on "Third Reich Lawyers & Lessons to Be Learned for Modern Legal Ethics," at the American Bar Assocation's Center for Professional Responsibility national conference, in Denver.  On May 20, he lectured, on "Justice Jackson & Other Military Lawyers at Nuremberg," at a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces continuing legal education conference in Washington, D.C.  On April 27, he lectured, also on Justice Jackson and Nuremberg, at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judges' retreat.  On April 17, he spoke about Nazi corruption of law, Justice Jackson and Nuremberg at a professional ethics program co-sponsored by the Holocaust Research Center of Buffalo (click here for video).  On March 25, he spoke at DLA Piper's Marbury Institute, regarding "The Rule of Law at Nuremberg and Its Lessons for Today."  On March 11, he gave a lecture, "Dawning, Developing Comprehension of Nazi Law-Breaking & Atrocities:  Justice Robert H. Jackson on the Road to Nuremberg, 1940-1945," at a Boston College conference, "Legally Blind: Law, Ethics & the Third Reich."

Before joining the St. John's faculty, John Q. Barrett was Counselor to the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice.  From 1988-1993, he was Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh (Iran/Contra).  From 1986-1988, Barrett served as a law clerk to Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

In addition to teaching Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure, Professor Barrett has taught seminars on American Judicial Biography, the Hughes and Stone Courts (1930-46), and the Nuremberg Trial; Introduction to Law & the Legal Profession; Professional Responsibility; and White Collar Crime.  He also has taught Constitutional Law modules in St. John's Summer Prep Program for College Students and Nuremberg-related courses in summer programs at the University of Potsdam Law School in Germany, at ISDE/University of Barcelona in Spain, and in Nuremberg itself. 

Professor Barrett speaks regularly on the Supreme Court, Justice Jackson, Nuremberg, FDR, and other legal and historical topics in public venues and to community, campus, religious, corporate, legal profession and other audiences and groups throughout the United States and abroad. Professor Barrett also is a regular national media commentator on legal and historical issues.

Professor Barrett serves on the board of the Historical Society of the New York Courts.  He previously chaired the New York City Bar Association's Legal History Committee and served on the International Expert Advisory Council of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy.  At St. John's, he is Faculty Coordinator of the St. Thomas More Scholarship Program and adviser to two student groups, the American Constitution Society (ACS) chapter and the Gay & Lesbian Law Association (GALLA).

Last updated July 5, 2016.