In arresting its last wanted fugitive in July, the Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal has achieved something that eluded even the Nuremberg tribunal: in efforts to punish leaders and promote truth and reconciliation, it nabbed everyone it had sought.
"One hundred sixty one cases all in hand, with none of those on the wanted list still at large, is a truly remarkable achievement, not matched anywhere," said James Gow, a King's College London professor who served as a prosecution advisor and expert witness in the court's early days from 1994-98.
"Nuremberg missed (Martin) Borman and (Adolf) Eichmann, at least, while Rwanda has several indictees outstanding."
"Even if not all the trials have gone well -- (Slobodan) Milosevic stands out here both because he died before the end but also because of the way it was conducted -- it is a truly great achievement."
The UN Security Council set up the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1993 with the sole purpose of prosecuting crimes as the Yugoslav federation was torn apart by bitter ethnic conflicts between Croats, Serbs, Bosniak Muslims and Albanians.
It was the first international court to indict a sitting head of state for war crimes -- Yugoslav President Milosevic -- and in the course of its 126 completed cases, it has established the awful facts of the Balkans conflicts, making it far harder for the different ethnic groups to deny the truth.
"For the international community, it was the start of a new era of challenging the pervading culture of impunity," said Alison Smith, legal counsel at the group No Peace Without Justice, an NGO that campaigns for human rights and the promotion of international justice.
"It opened the doors for various forms of accountability mechanisms in various parts of the world and played an important role in creating the conditions in which the International Criminal Court became possible."
Inspired by the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials that followed World War II, the ICTY set a precedent with the indictment of Milosevic in 1999 and became the role model for the ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes court set up in 2002.
The ICC has since shown that other national leaders are not immune, issuing arrest warrants for Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in 2009 for war crimes and in 2010 for genocide, as well as to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi this year for war crimes. So far neither has been arrested.
With the arrest last month of Goran Hadzic, a Croatian Serb indicted for crimes against humanity during the 1991-95 Croatian war, the ICTY's list of wanted suspects is now complete and it is expected to eventually wind up in 2015.
The ICTY was denied the satisfaction of sentencing its biggest catch, Milosevic, who died in his prison cell in 2006.
But its tally of completed cases and trials in progress included more than 100 Yugoslav war criminals, ranging from politicians to generals and warlords.
Among the biggest names were Croat fugitive Ante Gotovina, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison in April, and Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic, who was arrested in Serbia in 2008 and who is currently on trial in The Hague, facing 11 charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide related to the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.
"It has earned the right to be remembered by posterity for conducting a large number of major prosecutions, under difficult circumstances," said Eli Richardson, a former legal advisor to Serbia with the US Department of Justice.
Some of those on the wanted list remained at large for years, protected by sympathisers among the political establishment and law enforcement officers.
Karadzic's military chief, Ratko Mladic, indicted in 1995 for the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre, was only captured in May, amid heavy European Union pressure on Serbia. The EU has insisted that Serbia arrest all wanted war criminals before it grants candidate status for membership.
"It seems more than a coincidence that three of the 'biggest fish' (Karadzic, Mladic, and Hadzic) have been arrested at a moment when it was politically and economically suitable," said Geert-Jan Knoops, a Dutch-based international criminal law attorney.
Reconciliation in the Balkans remains difficult, with the injustices of the 1990s wars, World War II and even ethnic conflicts from centuries before still remembered by many.
Many Serbs feel the international community unfairly singled out their wartime leaders, and in a May poll prior to Mladic's arrest, a little more than half of those Serbs asked said they would not send the general to The Hague.
Croatia objected to the April conviction of army general Gotovina, and Bosnians have expressed frustration over the slow pace of justice.
A "sense of reconciliation, even at the more realistic and minimal levels of people feeling justice has been done, remains wanting in Bosnia and Kosovo, the most deeply affected places," said Gow, who used ICTY records to help document his book on the Yugoslav wars "The Serbian Project and Its Adversaries".
"There is a real feeling of disillusion with the ICTY, despite some respect for it, among Muslims, who do not feel that justice has been done, even if the trials have been successful."
However, the tribunal has at least provided foundations on which to build. It has established an important case file, including a ruling in 2004 that genocide occurred at Srebrenica where Bosnian Serb forces killed about 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in July 1995.
The judgment was confirmed by the International Court of Justice in 2007 in a case lodged by Bosnia against Serbia.
The tribunal also developed an important legal precedent, that of command responsibility, whereby military commanders can be held accountable if they fail to prevent or punish their subordinates for committing war crimes.
Civil society groups now hope to set up a regional truth commission to use the court's legacy of facts, compile a list of victims' names and promote regional reconciliation and combat denial across the Balkans region.
"The ICTY established the facts about the horrible crimes," said Natasa Kandic, at Serbia's Humanitarian Law Center. "Reconciliation comes with the facts."