For a more effective operation of the European Court of Human Rights, this Protocol makes the following main changes to the Convention (ETS no. 005) :
Clearly inadmissible cases : inadmissibility decisions in these cases, which are now taken by a committee of three judges, will be taken by a single judge, assisted by non-judicial rapporteurs. The idea is to increase the Court's filtering capacity, i.e. its capacity to filter out the "hopeless" cases.
Repetitive cases : where the case is one of a series deriving from the same structural defect at national level, the proposal is that it may be declared admissible and decided by a committee of three judges (instead of a seven-judge Chamber at present) under a simplified summary procedure.
New admissibility criterion : with a view to allowing the Court a greater degree of flexibility, a new admissibility condition is foreseen (in addition to existing conditions such as exhaustion of domestic remedies, six-month time-limit). Under this condition the Court could declare inadmissible applications where the applicant has not suffered a significant disadvantage provided that "respect for human rights" does not require the Court to go fully into the case and examine its merits. However, in order to ensure that applicants even with minor complaints are not left without any judicial remedy, the Court will not be able to reject a case on this ground if there is no such remedy in the country concerned.
Under the Protocol the Committee of Ministers will be empowered, if it decides by a two-thirds majority to do so, to bring proceedings before the Court where a State refuses to comply with a judgment. The Committee of Ministers will also have a new power to ask the Court for an interpretation of a judgment. This is to assist the Committee of Ministers in its task of supervising the execution of judgments and particularly in determining what measures may be necessary to comply with a judgment.
Other measures in the Protocol include changing the judges' term of office from the present six year renewable term to a single, nine year term and a provision in view of possible accession by the European Union to the Convention.