The Jury, described by the EBU as a National Jury, play a very important part in the Eurovision Song Contest voting system. Each national jury consists of five people (excluding one backup juror).
- Each National Jury meets in their own country on the second Dress Rehearsal of their semifinal and the same of the final. They will watch the live broadcast of these rehearsals and vote according to instructions from the EBU.
- All members of the National Juries shall receive their own voting sheet and shall be required to send a form, fully completed, in which they confirm that they will follow the voting instructions, as well as a signed declaration stating that they vote independently.
- There will be a notary monitoring the Jury whilst they vote.
Rules of the Voting Jury
Main article: Official Rules of the Eurovision Song Contest
- Each National Jury shall vote in accordance with the instructions included in the so-called "Green Document" and shall be composed of five members, including a chairperson.
- A backup member is selected in case one of the jurors cannot vote.
- A Jury must be appointed by the broadcaster to vote in the semi finals and the final. It must consist of five members from the music industry (singer, DJ, composer, lyricist or producer) and must have a fair balance of age, gender and profession.
- Jurors cannot be employees of their national broadcasters, and cannot have any direct connection to the songs and/or artists in order to uphold complete independence and impartiality.
- All members of the National Juries shall be citizens of the country they represent.
- Jury members shall not have not been a part of a national jury in the preceding two years. Meaning, for example, if someone served on a jury for the 2015 contest, they cannot do so for the 2016 or 2017 events.
- Jury members are to rank the songs from 1 to 25/26 (in the Final - it varies for the Semis). Abstentions are forbidden, except that the song of the participating broadcaster will be excluded from the vote. (For example, an Estonian Jury member is not allowed to vote for Estonia.)
- Juries are asked to focus their vote on 4 main sets of criteria:
- Vocal capacity of the artist(s)
- Performance on stage
- Composition and originality of the song
- Overall impression of the act
- The jurors shall not be known until the EBU publishes them on May 1st before the Contest begins.
- National commentators must recite all members of their National Jury during the final.
- The full results of the televoting and jury voting in the Semifinals and the Final, as well as the individual ranking submitted by each jury member, shall be announced on Eurovision.tv after the Contest.
- If it appears that votes are cast only in the intent to abuse the voting system or to false the final results or have not been undertaken in accordance with the Green Document, the EBU, in consultation with the Pan-European televoting partner, the independent auditor of the voting process and the chairman of the EBU Reference Group reserve the right to remove such votes for allocating the ranks.
- For example, if a jury member violates the rules (ex: one of the Russian jurors during the 2016 first semifinal), that person is removed and his/her vote declared void while the votes of the remaining jurors would still be valid. If the violation happened during the semifinal, the backup jury member (if any) or a new juror appointed by the country's broadcaster would fill the empty place on the panel in time for the final.