Edinburgh Agreement Text
Posted on September 18, 2021
From a more esoteric point of view, the legal status of the Edinburgh Agreement is important for questioning the predisposition of lawyers, considering the law as always available to those who want to create binding obligations and considering legal agreements as always more binding than non-legal alternatives. As I have already said, the Edinburgh Agreement puts this legal perspective into a different perspective. The Edinburgh Agreement (full title: agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Scottish Government on a referendum on Scottish independence) is the agreement between the Scottish Government and the Government of the United Kingdom, signed on 15 October 2012 at St Andrew`s House in Edinburgh, concerning the terms of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.  Does the agreement have a contractual dimension? It is clear that this is not a contract between two private parties. The provisions of concord are often considered “non-binding” as declarations of intent, “just honourably” and are not intended to create contractual agreements (see Condordats and Devolution Guidance Notes, House of Commons Library, SN/PC/3767, 7 October 2005). Nevertheless, commentators speak of these concordats in terms of twilight law, as an area of “constitutional paralist”, agreements between governments that almost serve as a form of “quasi-contractual” or “soft law” for civil servants, because they raise expectations and guide behavior. In the agreement, the two governments agreed that the referendum should be overseen by an impartial electoral commission. The Commission would comment on the text of the question, register activists, appoint prominent activists, regulate campaign spending and finances, provide subsidies to campaign organizations, establish guidelines for referendum participants, cover the referendum process, conduct the poll and reveal the result.  The agreement was signed by Prime Minister David Cameron; Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland; Alex Salmond, Prime Minister; and Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy Prime Minister. . . .