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Report No. 95

3.39. Factors accounting for greatness in the law.-

As has been said, greatness in the law is not a standardised quality; nor are the elements, that combine to attain it, "greatness may manifest itself through the power of penetrating analysis exerted by a trenchant mind, as in the case of Bradley; it may be due to persistence in a point of view forcefully expressed over a long judicial stretch, as shown by Field; it may derive from a coherent judicial philosophy, expressed with pungency and brilliance, reinforced by the Zeitgeist, which, in good part, was itself a reflection of that philosophy, as was true of Holmes; it may be achieved by the "resourceful deployment of vast experience and an originating mind, as illustrated by Brandeis, it may result from the influence of a singularly endearing personality in the service of sweet reason, as cardozo proves; it may come through the kind of vigour that exerts moral authority over others, as embodied in Hughes."1

1. Walter F. Murphy and C. Harman Pritchstt Court, Judges, Policies, 2nd Edn., pp. 179-180.

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