The Eleventh Protocol aims to rationalise the machinery for enforcement of rights and liberties guaranteed by the Convention (ETS No. 005). All alleged violations of the rights of persons are referred directly to the new permanent Court. In the majority of cases, the Court will sit in Chambers of seven judges. The Court deals with individual and inter-State petitions.
Manifestly ill-founded cases may be declared inadmissible by unanimous vote of a committee of three judges.
If the Court declares the application admissible, it will pursue the examination of the case, together with the representatives of the parties, and if need be will undertake an investigation. It will also place itself at the disposal of the parties with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the matter on the basis of respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the protocols thereto.
Within a period of three months from the date of the judgment of the Chamber, any party to the case may, in exceptional cases (serious questions affecting the interpretation or application of the Convention or the protocols thereto, or serious issues of general importance), request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber. If the request is accepted, the resulting judgment of the Grand Chamber will be final. Otherwise, judgments of Chambers will become final when the parties declare that they will not request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber, or have made no request for reference three months after the date of the judgment; or, if such a request is made, when the panel of the Grand Chamber rejects the request to refer.
The Committee of Ministers is no longer empowered to deal with the merits of cases, although it maintains its important role of ensuring that governments comply with the Court's judgments.