A resolution issued by the United Nations Security Council on September 14 extended Del Ponte’s mandate in light of "the need to ensure a smooth transition between the departure of Ms Carla Del Ponte and the assumption of office of her successor".
Del Ponte became Chief Prosecutor at the tribunal in August 1999, and is responsible for bringing cases against war crimes suspects from conflicts in the former Yugoslavia in the early Nineties and the subsequent Serbian crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
Among those she prosecuted was former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, who died last year before his genocide trial could be completed.
Del Ponte, who has been a prosecutor for 26 years and served two mandate periods at the Hague tribunal, will move to Argentina in January 2008, where she is due to take post of Swiss ambassador to the country.
It is not known who will replace her once she leaves the Hague.