Judicial Branch vs. Executive Branch

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Difference between Judicial Branch and Executive Branch

The judicial branch and the executive branches of the government were set up in order to ensure that no single individual or group of individuals would have more power than is necessary. Of course, both branches have their own distinct roles, some of which we will cover in this comparison article.

Judicial Branch
Executive Branch

Definition

The judicial branch–otherwise known as the judicial system or judicature–is the system of courts that has the task of interpreting and applying the law for the sovereign or state. It is also this system's responsibility to provide the means to resolve disputes from the lower courts.

The executive branch for its part is the government branch that is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the bureaucracy of the state. It is this division of power between the separate government branches that reinforces the republican ideal of separation of powers.

Purpose

The judicial branch does not actually create the laws in the strictest sense of the word (an exception will be discussed in the next section), nor does it enforce them. Instead, it is the role of this branch of government to interpret the laws and apply it to each case. The judicial branch is also responsible for ensuring that everyone receives equal and just treatment according to these laws.

The executive branch does not create laws either, nor does it interpret them as the judicial branch does. Instead, the role of this branch is to enforce the written laws as interpreted by the judicial branch.

Specific Roles

As mentioned previously, the judicial branch has the sole responsibility of interpreting the law, a role that encompasses constitutions, statutes, and regulations. While this branch does not actually create laws per se, it does have the power to make laws based on prior case laws that the legislative branch had not passed explicitly. In socialist systems however, it is the sole responsibility of the legislature to interpret the law.

The executive branch has five primary roles assigned to it, namely: to serve as the head of state or the leader of the nation; to serve as the head of government, which oversees the functions of the state, and the management of the country's bureaucracy; and deciding how to enforce laws; to serve as chief diplomat; to serve as commander in chief of the country's armed forces; and to serve as chief legislator, whose role is to influence the passage or defeat of proposed laws via veto power.

Similarities and Differences

Judicial branch

  • The system of courts that has the task of interpreting and applying the law for the sovereign or state
  • Provides the means to resolve disputes from the lower courts
  • Has the power to make laws based on prior case laws

Executive branch

  • The government branch that is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the bureaucracy of the state
  • Does not create laws nor interprets them as the judicial branch does

Which branch of government seems more powerful?
  • Judicial Branch
  • Executive Branch
 
 

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