Maybe it was some kind of international agreement? Admittedly, the Vienna Convention provides for “international agreements between States and other subjects of international law”. However, the person who constitutes a “meeting of international law” is not defined and, again, both parties should intend their agreement to be binding under international law, and it seems clear that this is not the case. The debate highlights our sense of law for the availability of law in Denun. The Edinburgh Agreement could not be signed in a legally binding form, as there is no simple and appropriate legal form for this type of agreement in our legal system. This is not so important in Scotland, where violence and instability are not a problem. But this was very important in other contexts where negotiations between governments and sub-state actors (governments or so-called governments) take place in a context of violence, where central governments want to change pro- and anti-peace agreement parties in the middle of the process and perhaps break the commitments of their predecessors without loss of reputation. With this attention to detail, the pervasive legal language, a series of clear commitments and the signature of government officials, this is not a legal document? This does not look like a simple “political pact”, and in fact, it is enough to compare it to the famous political pact – the coalition agreement – to see the differences. The coalition agreement existed between two political parties and not between government officials, and although it sets obligations on a policy that affects the Constitution, the very content of the agreement was not a constitutional issue. The nature of the commitments in broad areas of common policy meant that they were formulated coherently, but that they were not formulated in the precise legal obligations of the Edinburgh Agreement – that was not the nature of the matter. Similar questions of legal status arose in the subsequent project of decolonization throughout the British Empire, during which the British government signed decolonization agreements with sub-governments (at the time) or groups of leaders who, at the time of signing, did not have the status of a new state and whose agreements therefore had an ambiguous legal status.
The countries were on the road to independence, which led to arguments that the local signatories were not really sub-state entities without contractual capacity, but that they signed as a “pending state”, and the resulting documents had some form of international legal status. This argument does not apply to the Edinburgh Agreement, where there is no British acceptance of the intention to act at international level or where relations that are conducted in the national field 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 if the referendum is successful and the separation is negotiated, these arguments could apply to agreements on the modalities of separation between the two governments. The role of “political implementation” could explain why the parties presented an agreement in writing, legal form and with a full signing ceremony….