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Dyzenhaus deals with the urgent question of how governments should respond to emergencies and terrorism by exploring the idea that there is an unwritten constitution of law, exemplified in the common law constitution of Commonwealth countries. He looks mainly to cases decided in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada to demonstrate that even in the absence of an entrenched bill of rights, the law provides a moral resource that can inform a rule-of-law project capable of responding to situations which place legal and political order under great stress.
Those cases are discussed against a backdrop of recent writing and judicial decisions in the United States of America in order to show that the issues are not confined to the Commonwealth. The author argues that the rule-of-law project is one in which judges play an important role, but which also requires the participation of the legislature and the executive.