Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbiter or judge reviews evidence and argumentation including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants to come to a decision which determines rights and obligations between the parties involved. Three types of disputes are resolved through adjudication:
- Disputes between private parties, such as individuals or corporations.
- Disputes between private parties and public officials.
- Disputes between public officials or public bodies.
Adjudication can also be the process (at dance competitions, in television game shows and at other competitive forums) by which competitors are evaluated and ranked and a winner is found.
"The legal process of resolving a dispute. The formal giving or pronouncing of a judgment or decree in a court proceeding; also the judgment or decision given. The entry of a decree by a court in respect to the parties in a case. It implies a hearing by a court, after notice, of legal evidence on the factual issue(s) involved. The equivalent of a determination. It indicates that the claims of all the parties thereto have been considered and set at rest." 
'Claims adjudication' is a phrase used in the insurance industry to refer to the process of paying claims submitted or denying them after comparing claims to the benefit or coverage requirements. The adjudication process consists of receiving a claim from an insured person and then utilizing software to process the claims and make a decision or doing so manually. If it’s done automatically using software or a web-based subscription, the claim process is called auto-adjudication. Automating claims often improve efficiency and reduce expenses required for manual claims adjudication. Many claims are submitted on paper and are processed manually by insurance workers.
After the claims adjudication process is complete, the insurance company often sends a letter to the person filing the claim describing the outcome. The letter, which is sometimes referred to as remittance advice, includes a statement as to whether the claim was denied or approved. If the company denied the claim, it has to provide an explanation for the reason why under regional laws. The company also often sends an explanation of benefits that includes detailed information about how each service included in the claim was settled. Insurance companies will then send out payments to the providers if the claims are approved or to the provider’s billing service.
The process of claims adjudication, in this context, is also called "medical billing advocacy".
Pertaining to background investigations
Adjudication is the process directly following a background investigation where the investigation results are reviewed to determine if a candidate should be awarded a security clearance, or be suitable for a public trust or non-sensitive position.
From the United States Department of the Navy Central Adjudication Facility: "Adjudication is the review and consideration of all available information to ensure an individual's loyalty, reliability, and trustworthiness are such that entrusting an individual with national security information or assigning an individual to sensitive duties is clearly in the best interest of national security."
Adjudication is the process of identifying, with reasonable certainty, the type or nature of special nuclear material or device that set off an alarm and assessing the potential threat that the material or device might pose with corresponding implications for the need to take further action. 
Referring to a minor
Referring to a minor, the term adjudicated can refer to children that are under a court's jurisdiction usually as a result of having engaged in delinquent behavior and not having a legal guardian that could be entrusted with being responsible for him or her. A child dependency or neglect adjudication can also result in a determination that a child is in need of services.
Different states have different processes for declaring a child as adjudicated.
- The Arizona State Legislature has this definition:
- "'Dually adjudicated child' means a child who is found to be dependent or temporarily subject to court jurisdiction pending an adjudication of a dependency petition and who is alleged or found to have committed a delinquent or incorrigible act."
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The 'Illinois General Assembly' has this definition:
- "'Adjudicated' means that the Juvenile Court has entered an order declaring that a child is neglected, abused, dependent, a minor requiring authoritative intervention, a delinquent minor or an addicted minor." 
Adjudication is a relatively new process introduced by the government of Victoria, Australia, to allow for the rapid determination of progress claims under building contracts or sub-contracts and contracts for the supply of goods or services in the building industry. This process was designed to ensure cash flow to businesses in the building industry, without parties getting tied up in lengthy and expensive litigation or arbitration It is regulated by the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002.
Builders, sub-contractors and suppliers need to carefully choose a nominating authority to which they make an adjudication application.
The Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA) came into effect in Queensland in October, 2004. Through a statutory-based process known as adjudication a claimant can seek to resolve payment on account disputes. The act covers construction, and related supply of goods and services, contracts, whether written or verbal. BCIPA is regulated by the Building and Construction Industry Payments Agency, a branch of the Queensland Building Services.
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- Administrative law
- Alternative dispute resolution (e.g. Arbitration, Mediation)
- Collateral estoppel
- Dispute resolution (e.g. Lawsuit)
- Res judicata
- Lecture by Sir Christopher Greenwood entitled International Law in the Age of Adjudication in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Lecture by Stephen M. Schwebel entitled The Merits (and Demerits) of International Adjudication and Arbitration in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Darren Noble, Users' Guide to Adjudication in Victoria (Anstat 2009)
- Alexander Bickel, The Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics, 2nd ed. (Yale University Press, 1986).
- Gad Barzilai, Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003).
- Erwin Chemerinsky, Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies (Aspen Publishers, 2006).
- Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously (Harvard University Press, 2005, originally 1977).
- Conor Gearty, Principles of Human Rights Adjudication (Oxford University Press, 2005).
- Michael J. Gorr and Sterling Harwood, eds., Controversies in Criminal Law: Philosophical Essays on Responsibility and Procedure (Westview Press, 1992).
- Michael J. Gorr and Sterling Harwood, eds., Crime and Punishment: Philosophic Explorations (Wadsworth Publishing Co., 2000; originally Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1996).
- H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law (Oxford University Press, 1961).
- Sterling Harwood, Judicial Activism: A Restrained Defense (Austin & Winfield Publishers, 1993).
- Allan C. Hutchinson, It's All in the Game: A Nonfoundationalist Account of Law and Adjudication (Duke University Press, 2000).
- David Lyons, Ethics and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press, 1984).
- David Lyons, Moral Aspects of Legal Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1993).
- John T. Noonan and Kenneth I. Winston, eds., The Responsible Judge: Readings in Judicial Ethics (Praeger Publishers, 1993).
- Kathleen M. Sullivan and Gerald Gunther, Constitutional Law, 15th ed. (Foundation Press, 2004).
- Harry H. Wellington, Interpreting the Constitution: The Supreme Court and the Process of Adjudication (Yale University Press, 1992).
- "Glossary for Administrative Hearings". Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- Text of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (1996 Chapter 53) as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database