The whole set of tags for the 3 typical branches of a government with separation of powers is a bit chaotic:
- There is no tag executive but there is a tag executive-branch with 53 questions
- There is a tag legislature with 13 questions but no tag legislative-branch. There is also a tag legislative-process with 89 questions with a couple questions which might be more about the branch itself than about its processes.
- The judicial branch has two competing tags with judiciary with 17 questions and judicial-branch with 37 questions.
The separation of powers into 3 branches is AFAIK not specific to the United States but rather specific to most democratic republics (in fact the US isn't even the purest example, because the executive branch has some legislative power in form of the presidential veto). But on the other hand, there are also less democratic governments in the world which do not have a separation into distinct branches, but all governments have executive, legislative and judiciary functions.
So what I did is the following:
I agree that they should be synonyms, but wouldn't it be better the other way?
I've always though of "Judicial Branch" being specifically American, as a reference to the 3 branches of government. I've never heard it used for another country. Would you really talk about the Judicial Branch of the UK?