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At the level of the judiciary, the term focuses on its ability to decide on judicial careers and court administration without external interference. At the level of individual judges, independence refers to their ability to carry out their professional duties without external (political) or internal (judicial) interference. Judicial independence can be measured by looking at the formal/legal guarantees introduced to shield judges from such interference. These safeguards may include, for example, protection from arbitrary dismissals from office or the ability to report improper communications from the parties to specific cases. In practice, however, judges might act in line with the preferences of political actors, even when such formal guarantees are in place, or decide independently in the absence of such guarantees.