Rule in Heydon's Case Law and Legal Definition

Heydon (1584) 76 ER 637, is a landmark English case that first used the mischief rule for interpretation of statutes. According to this rule, while interpreting statutes, first the problem or mischief that the statute was designed to remedy should be identified and then a construction that suppresses the problem and advances the remedy should be adopted.

However, this rule of construction is of narrower application than the golden rule or the plain meaning rule, as it can only be used to interpret a statute and, strictly speaking, only when the statute was passed to remedy a defect in the common law.