Legal Word of the Day: “Mischief Rule”

Legal Library

Legal Library

“Mischief Rule” – This is used in statute interpretation. When an Act aims to cure a defect in the law, any ambiguity is to be resolved in such a way as to favour that aim.

A Mischief Rule interpretation would look at the common law that existed before the Act was created; the mischief that the common law created or did not remedy; the legislative remedy Parliament proposed; and the reason for that remedy.

See and contrast:

Hill v. R., 1975 CanLII 38 (SCC), [1977] 1 SCR 827

Regional Assessment Commissioner v. Ontario Steel Products, 1973 CanLII 52 (ON CA)

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