The PPT has been recognised as one of the most active expressions in the field of opinion tribunals. These tribunals are set up to shed light on unheard cases of human rights violations and are activated at the request of social forces who, in the absence of national, regional or international tribunal initiatives, promote the establishment of entities considered to be more accessible forms of justice.
In its long history, the PPT has helped to pave the way for the understanding of international law for civil society and has highlighted many of the current international legal system’s shortcomings and failures. The PPT is unique precisely because of its permanent nature, which has allowed it to deal with a vast number of scenarios, being open to the variety of requests that come to its attention. Hence the relevance of its long-term activity. As a ‘permanent’ body, the PPT is constantly ready to listen to people whose fundamental rights are violated. Moreover, its emphasis on international law and peoples’ rights, on a deliberative process of evaluating evidence and facts in the light of law, distinguishes the PPT from other opinion tribunals and initiatives to denounce breaches of international law by states and private actors.
In an era in which formal international mechanisms for challenging the actions of States and other international actors have multiplied, the PPT has still a role to play, where no international procedure exists and where the available procedures are not accessible to collectivities and peoples in practice.