The Edinburgh Agreement includes a main agreement signed on behalf of the Scottish Government by Prime Minister David Cameron, Scottish Secretary of State Michael Moore and First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. This main agreement outlines in broad terms the principles to which both governments have committed themselves – rather, it is a “declaration of principles” that gives more detailed commitments (see the similar structure of peace agreements in the Middle East!). This preliminary agreement is accompanied by a Memorandum of Understanding and a draft of Section 30, which are part of the front-piece agreement “part of this agreement”. From a technical point of view, therefore, the “Edinburgh Convention” covers all three documents. From a rather esoteric point of view, the legal status of the Edinburgh Agreement is important to challenge the predisposition of lawyers, so that the law is always accessible to those who want to create binding obligations and that legal agreements are always seen as more binding than non-legal alternatives. I will also say that the Edinburgh agreement puts this legal perspective in place. The agreement was signed by Prime Minister David Cameron; Michael Moore, Minister of Scotland; Alex Salmond, Premier; And Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister. What is the legal status of the agreement as a “concorda”? Well, he`s notoriously insequent. The guidelines published in 1998 and 2005 suggest that the agreements are not intended to create legal obligations or restrictions, but to serve as the basis for administrative cooperation and information exchange. The terms of the agreement are often referred to as “non-binding” as “honorary” declarations of intent that are not intended to establish contractual agreements (see Condordats and Devolance Guidance Notes, House of Commons Library, SN/PC/3767, October 7, 2005).
Nevertheless, commentators refer to these agreements in the “Twilight Law Terms” as an area of “para-constitutional law,” agreements between governments that serve almost as a form of “quasi-contractual laws” or “soft laws” for public servants, because they raise expectations and behaviours.