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According to classical legal positivism, the prerequisite to being selected as a judge on the International Court of Justice is legal expertise and high moral character – the personality of the judge is therefore merely the subject of idle curiosity. American Legal Realists understood that one could not explain past decisions or predict future decisions merely by extrapolating rules; account needed to be taken of history, culture, politics, economics, and the personality of the judge. As a person, Judge Oda is famous for his self-control in personal comportment. As a judge he is a study in independence, having produced an unmatched number of dissents and separate opinions. His contribution to international law will continue to influence us.

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