In signing physical or hard-copy contracts, I have observed a few practices I wish to discuss in this text. One of which is that all parties sign the last page or the signature page. The other practice is that they sign all the pages of the contract or they sign the signature page and initial all of the other pages. What does the law say about these practices? Do parties to the contract need to sign all pages of contract? I will try to answer to these questions in this text.
I have reviewed the Civil Code of Cambodia and there is no provision that specifically answers to these questions. In other words, there is no provision instructing the parties to sign all pages or to sign only the signature page.
For example, paragraph 3 of Article 583 of the Civil Code reads:
The parties to a loan for consumption contract may by agreement bring into existence a claim having as its subject the payment of interest. This shall assume that a claim for interest shall not come into effect unless it is in writing and bears the signature of the Borrower.
The above provision of the Civil Code only requires the parties, especially the borrower, to sign the loan consumption contract with claim for interest. However, it does not say whether the parties should sign all pages or only sign the signature page. Hereafter, I will borrow the concept and rule governing verbal contract and follow the analogical approach to explain where the signature should be affixed to the contract.
Since verbal contract is valid and recognized under the laws of Cambodia, I view that the contract is valid under the law of Cambodia under all of the above circumstances which include the following:
(i) the parties only sign the signature page;
(ii) the parties sign all pages of the contract; or
(iii) the parties sign the signature page and initial the other pages.
Although verbal contract is valid or recognized by the laws, written contract is better because it is a solid evidence confirming the existence of the agreements. Based on the fore-mentioned thought, I view that although the contract which only bears signatures of the parties at the signature page is still valid, it would be better that all parties sign all pages of the contract or they sign the signature page and initial the other pages of the contract.
This text is not legal advice or opinion.