Res Gestae

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'Immediacy of things'. Statements made in the Res gestae -- during or in the immediate aftermath of a criminal act -- are generally admissible in evidence, even if they are Hearsay or tend to disconfirm an existing sworn statement. The rationale for admitting such statements, even though oral hearsay is prima facie inadmissible, is that a person who is emotionally overwhelmed by events is unlikely to have the presence of mind to fabricate his statement. The test for admissibility was set out in R v ratten (1972), and is that the statement is clearly made in circumstances of spontaneity or involvment in events that the possibility of concoction can be discounted.

This test was approved by the House of lords in R v andrews (1987), which added that the judge had to satisfy himself that, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the mind of the person making the statement was dominated by the event.