James Richard Crawford was born in Adelaide in November 1948, where he went to school and eventually graduated from Adelaide University with an LLB and a BA in 1971. His political views were coloured by his country's involvement in the Vietnam War, and these were reflected in his vision of international law, which he researched under Ian Brownlie for his LLD at Oxford (1972–73). The result was his seminal text The Creation of States in International Law. After returning to Australia, James Crawford spent the next 18 years pursuing a career in academia and government legal service, culminating in his occupying the Challis chair at Sydney in 1986. Further recognition of his standing in international law came when Cambridge appointed him to the Whewell Chair in 1992, and the Directorship of the Lauterpacht Centre 1997–2003 and 2006–2009. After 23 years in Cambridge, Professor Crawford was elected to the bench of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2015, where, in May 2018, Lesley Dingle recorded nearly 4 hours of conversation with him in his chambers at the Peace Palace. The audio and transcript records of these interviews have been presented in the Eminent Scholars Archive, along with a narrative biography. During his parallel careers, academic and juristic, James Crawford wrote extensively on international law. His works reveal a distinctive vision of the law's legacy and future prospects. In the present article, Lesley Dingle expands on some of the perspectives that underpin this Crawfordian vision of international law, inter alia: historical contingency, human enhancement, the legal polymath, personal priorities, and constraints on ICJ judges.