Heydon's case

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This case [(1584) 3 Co Rep 7a] is famous for its definition of the 'mischief rule' of Statutory interpretation.

The relevant passage is: "[F]our things are to be discerned and considered: 1st. What was the common law before the making of the Act. 2nd. What was the mischief and defect for which the common law did not provide. 3rd. What remedy Parliament hath resolved and appointed to cure the disease of the Commonwealth. 4th. The true reason of the remedy; and then the office of the Judges is to make such construction as shall suppress the mischief and advance the remedy, and to suppress subtle inventions and evasions for continuance of the mischief, and to add force and life to the cure and remedy, according to the true intent of the makers of the Act, pro bono publico."

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