What is Adjudication?
Adjudication is a colloquial term, which refers to the formal legal process by which a judge or arbiter reviews evidence and testimonies including legal reasoning offered by litigants or opposing parties to come to a decision, which ultimately determines the distribution of rights and obligations for the parties involved. Adjudication is distinct from other justice-seeking or evidence-based resolution formats; in particular, the process is only used to solve the following types of disputes:
Disputes between private parties, such as individual citizens or corporations (who possess a legal personality)
Disputes that arise between public officials and private parties
Disputes between public bodies and public officials
Adjudication occurs when a natural person, typically someone empowered by an agency to formalize a binding decision, is given the task of examining evidence or facts to render a legally-acceptable and affirmed judgment. As a result of this process and the broad definition attached, adjudication may refer to a casual form of judging, such as in athletic competitions, where a body of judges adjudicate and awards scores to the competitors; or adjudication may occur in business, where a qualified judge is called to examine the facts to resolve a dispute between two parties.
Adjudication, in the majority of cases, is binding and does not require the inclusion of a jury to render a decision in a civil trial. In the adjudication process, a judge will render a decision regarding the case only after all the evidence has been presented to the presiding body. This legal process is preferred by a number of institutions and individuals in the midst of a legal battle because is typically less expensive than a trial case and is far more expedient.
The Adjudication Process Explained:
As stated earlier, a judge (instead of a jury) will typically settle disputes between parties in adjudication. Although the adjudication process is quicker and typically less expensive, the review of facts is generally thought to be less thorough and sympathetic when compared to a trial by jury. In the legal sense, an adjudicator is not regarded as a mediatory, even though the two parties are required to come to terms or agree on a settlement to resolve a case. In the majority of situations, a mediator will help find a compromise between feuding parties, but they cannot force the parties to do so.