I am writing an introduction for my company internal contest. There is a group of people selected to choose the winner. I am not sure which word to use when mentioning them. I see people use "judge panel" for model contests, "juries" for film festivals and "examiners" for some other contests. I am not a native English speaker and I don't know if I should use one of these words or another one that I didn't know.

What are the differences of these words and when to use each one? I've tried to search on Google but all results I found were about law and courts.

Thank you so much.

  • Is the contest an "examination"? Other than that case, I would not use "examiners".
    – GEdgar
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 14:54
  • I am sorry, is a contest also an examination? I don't know the differences :( Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 14:58
  • 1
    An examination: where the contestants give answers to a list of questions.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 15:00
  • @GEdgar thank you. Then this contest is not an examination. There are no lists of questions in the contest. Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 15:03
  • 1
    There is only one judge in a court of law, but there may be several in a competition. The jury in a court of law consists of twelve people, so a group of people is a jury, not juries. Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 15:35

3 Answers 3


In a criminal trial in England and in many other English-speaking countries which have a legal system based on what is called the Common Law, there is a single judge and a jury of (often) 12 people. The judge is legally qualified and controls proceedings and makes decisions on what the law is and give directions to the jury. The jury consist of ordinary people selected at random and the jury decide which witnesses they believe and, ultimately, whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. Some civil proceedings also use judge and jury trials.

In the context of a company internal contest it would be fine to use either "judge" or "jury" but "judge" is slightly more common if there are a limited number of people (e.g. up to 3 or 4) and jury would be slightly more usual if there are, say, more than 6.

Also you might be more inclined to use "judges" if the contest involves the judgment of technical skill and slightly more likely to use "jury" if it is more a matter of opinion - e.g. the best song.

But basically either "jury" or "judges" or "panel of judges" is fine.


As Shane said, "judges" is OK. But also in Merriam-Webser:

2 : a committee for judging and awarding prizes at a contest or exhibition


If your contest is academics related, "examiners" might suit. For most cases, the word "judges" ought to work:

one appointed to decide in a contest or competition ~ Merriam Webster

Alternatively, you could go for "staff", which would be more appropriate in a business-setting:

the people employed by a particular organization

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