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An adjudicator is someone who presides, judges and arbitrates during a formal dispute.


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.

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]

An adjudicator (often referred to as a "judge"), 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[2] weighs arguments and decides rankings in the house. There are different types of adjudicators, each with their respective duties and levels of authority, these are 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. ^ "World Debate Website". 


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