Journal Article

Completion or Continuation Strategy?

Fausto Pocar

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 6, issue 4, pages 655-665
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
Completion or Continuation Strategy?

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Since 2000, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has been devising a ‘Completion Strategy’, commonly understood as a plan to wind down its trial and appellate activities. Crucial to this comprehensive plan is, however, that the winding down of the Tribunal's activities should be accomplished while simultaneously upholding the international rule of law, preventing impunity and widely sharing the Tribunal's institutional knowledge and jurisprudence. The author, President of the ICTY, explains that the Tribunal, from its inception, was established to exercise primacy only for a short period and because of the inability of local judiciaries to deliver justice or ensure a future of peace to the region. In view of the principle of complementarity, which fully applies to the ICTY, the Tribunal is therefore transferring cases and investigative material to local institutions. Moreover, the Tribunal has amended its Rules of Procedure and Evidence to allow direct petition by local actors to modify protective measures and thereby receive confidential material from the Tribunal's archives. Through these and other measures, the ICTY has adopted a strategy of ‘continued legacy building’ in the region of the former Yugoslavia that will faciliate the growth of local institutional capacity to handle the numerous cases that remain to be prosecuted and tried effectively. Thus, in its essence, the ‘Completion Strategy’ is an unprecedented attempt to contribute to the development of the rule of law, both in the region of the former Yugoslavia and beyond.

Journal Article.  4973 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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