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An adjudicator is someone who presides, judges, and arbitrates during a formal dispute or competition. They have numerous purposes, including preliminary legal judgments, to determine applicant eligibility, or to assess contenders' performance in competitions.



An example is a person who makes a preliminary judgment as to an unemployment insurance claim. An adjudicator makes an initial decision to keep a case from going to court. Although the adjudicator's decision does not have legal weight, the adjudicator has rendered a decision. Although a case can be appealed to a judge, the adjudicator's decision is frequently accepted as the same as what a judge would make, keeping many time-consuming cases out of the court system.

Decision-making panels[edit]

The term is used to refer to a panel of judges in the process of considering security clearances for the United States government. The panel reviews information from a background investigation and a polygraph and decides whether to grant the clearance. Adjudicators can be a medical review board that makes disability and retirement benefit decisions for Federal employees and military personnel. Adjudicators also exist for immigration benefits.[1]

Official evaluations [edit]

An adjudicator (often referred to as a "judge", "umpire", "arbiter", or more archaically as a "daysman"[2]), is a person who gives a critical evaluation of performances in competitions, festivals or talent shows, resulting in the award of marks, medals or prizes.

In BP debate, an adjudicator[3] weighs arguments and decides rankings in the house. There are different types of adjudicators, each with their respective duties and levels of authority: chair, panelist, and trainee. In the event that the chair is the chief adjudicator of the tournament, they are referred to as "Speaker".


  1. ^ "ilink – USCIS".
  2. ^ "daysman - noun". Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2020. 1archaic: UMPIRE, ARBITER. 2archaic: DAY LABORER.
  3. ^ "World Debate Website". Archived from the original on 2012-04-24.


  • Adjudicators Field Manual, United States Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services