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Apr 13, 2021

The Edinburgh Agreement



The role of “political implementation” could begin to explain why the parties submitted an agreement in law, legal form and in the midst of a signing ceremony. Paradoxically, the agreement could be presented in such a formal manner, precisely because it did not have a binding legal status. The most important mechanism for enforcing such agreements is two dynamics: the development of reciprocal agreements, the implementation of which is in the interests of the parties, and the creation of costs for the reputation of a party in the event of an infringement. Finally, and even more provocatively, if Scotland voted “yes” and the separation of Scotland were negotiated with the United Kingdom, a whole series of agreements would have to be concluded between the United Kingdom and the Scottish Government, and the difficulty of finding a binding legal form for these agreements would probably be highlighted. There has been confusion and disagreement about what a generation means politically. As with all agreements, a key mechanism for the application of reciprocity – I will stick to my side if you respect yours. Here, the agreement is regularized to the extent that it provides obligations for most contingencies, with clear timetables and precise language. The discussion sets up our legal sense of the availability of the right to Swiele. The Edinburgh Agreement could not be signed legally binding, as there is no simple and appropriate legal form for this type of agreement in our legal system. In Scotland, where violence and instability are not a problem, it is not that important. But this was very important in other contexts where negotiations between governments and sub-state governments (governments or potential governments) take place in a context of violence, and where central governments, in the middle of the process, want to switch between the parties for and against peace, and perhaps abandon the commitments of their predecessors without losing their reputation.

The decolonization project of the British Empire, in which the British government signed decolonization agreements with governments (at the time) of sub-states or groups of leaders who did not have the status of a new state at the time of signing and whose agreements were therefore of ambiguous legal status. Countries were on the road to independence, which led to arguments that local signatories are not actually sub-governmental entities without contractual capacity, but are signed as a “pending state,” and the resulting documents have some sort of international legal status. This argument does not apply to the Edinburgh Agreement, in which the United Kingdom does not accept the intention to act at the international level, or that internal relations are in fact in transition to international relations. This lack of international intent also excludes theories that the UK has entered into a binding unilateral international agreement with the Scottish Government. It is interesting to note, however, that these arguments could apply to agreements on the terms of separation between the two governments if the referendum on success and secession were negotiated. With this attention to detail, the ubiquitous legal language, a series of clear commitments and the signing of government officials, is it certainly a legal document? This does not sound like a simple “political pact,” and you only have to compare yourself to the famous political pact – the coalition agreement – to see the differences. The coalition agreement was concluded between two political parties rather than between government representatives and, although it gave commitments to constitutional policies, the content of the agreement itself was not a constitutional matter.