A question asked by another member about missing pages in a lease brings to my mind the question of whether there is a legal requirement for contract pages to be numbered so that it is e.g. obvious when a plaintiff or defendant has simply omitted inconvenient pages ?

I generally see clauses being numbered, but I don't know if this is a requirement or not - I have no legal training myself.

I am particularly interested in my own country (Ireland) and the UK and EU but other jurisdictions are of naturally of interest.

1 Answer 1


I do not believe that there is any requirement to number clauses, paragraphs, or pages, and I have certainly seen contracts where none of these are numbered. It is a common practice to number provisions in some way, in particular to make reference from one to another easier. But not all contracts include such internal references.

Contracts presented in electronic form, such as on a web page, may not have any clear concept of separate pages, and so page numbers would be pointless on such contracts.

Page numbers on contracts printed out are common, but I do not know of any legal requirement for such numbers.

For contracts presented in electronic form, one can ensure against unauthorized modification by including a checksum or hash of the contract text. If a one-way hash function is used, it will be quite hard to produce a text with a different content but an identical hash value. This technique could also be used on printed contracts. However, I do not recall seeing this technique used in practice.

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    Indeed, contracts generally need not even be written.
    – bdb484
    Jan 11, 2023 at 21:22
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    @bdb484 Quite true, and many of them are not. Laws do require contracts to be in writing for some specific purposes, however. In many jurisdictions there is a version of the statute of frauds which requires that contracts for amounts over a specific limit, for more than a specified length of tiem, or for sale of land be in writing. In the US, copyright transfers must be in writing. Jan 11, 2023 at 21:28

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