With the exception of the International Criminal Court, all of the past or present international tribunals have either completed their work or are scheduled to complete their work in the relatively near future. In some cases, such as the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) was intimately involved in planning the final phase of the Tribunal's existence. In others, such as the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor, the OTP played little or no role in the decision-making process. In every case, though, the decision to close a tribunal has had a significant impact on the OTP's ability to fulfil its mandate, however defined. This chapter explores that impact. Section 2 describes the various strategies that tribunals have pursued to complete their work. Section 3 provides a comprehensive analysis of the ways in which those strategies have threatened, and continue to threaten, the legitimacy, independence, and effectiveness of the prosecutorial function. Finally, Section 4 discusses the lessons that current and future tribunals can learn from those completion strategies.
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