Eva Joly

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Eva Joly
Eva Joly - Grenoble 2012 (3).jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for France
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1943-12-05) 5 December 1943 (age 72)
Grünerløkka, Oslo, Norway
Nationality French-Norwegian
Political party Europe Écologie–The Greens
Spouse(s) Pascal Joly (m.1967 divorce, deceased 2001)[1]
Children Caroline Joly and Julien Joly[1]
Residence Paris
Occupation politician, MEP
Profession judge

Eva Joly (French: [eva ʒɔli]; born Gro Eva Farseth, 5 December 1943) is a Norwegian-born French magistrate («Juge d'instruction») and politician for Europe Écologie–The Greens. She represented this party as a candidate for the presidency of France in the 2012 elections.

Early life[edit]

Born in Grünerløkka, Oslo, she moved to Paris at 20 to work as an au pair.[2] There she married the son of the family that employed her, Pascal Joly (now deceased) and adopted her middle name 'Eva', which is easier to pronounce in French.[2]


Working as a secretary, she took her legal education at night school and became a magistrate when she was 38.[2] Joly specialised in financial affairs, and in 1990 she joined the High Court of Paris (Court of Cassation)[clarification needed] as an investigating judge.[citation needed]

Here she quickly made a mark with her crusade against corruption, in particular taking on, among others, former minister Bernard Tapie and the bank Crédit Lyonnais. Her most famous case, however, was that of France's leading oil company – Elf Aquitaine.[2] In the face of death threats, she carried on the case to uncover several cases of fraud, leading to the conviction of tens of persons involved in the oil business. In 2001, she received for this work the award for integrity from the non-governmental organisation Transparency International.

In 2002 she was asked by the Norwegian Minister of Justice, Odd Einar Dørum, to accept a three-year position as a special advisor on corruption. The Anti-Corruption and Money Laundering project involved cooperation between the Ministry of Justice and Police, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Norway. The project worked on issues related to financial crimes and organized crime, with a special focus on strong international cooperation. Collaboration with the Ministry of Finance was also important, in addition to strengthening connections to the private sector. The project has among other things led to a Norwegian focus on corruption in foreign affairs.[3] During the three-year period Joly also initiated the Paris Declaration Against Corruption in 2003."The Paris Declaration- A call for action against large scale corruption". Publish What You Pay. Transparency International. 30 June 2003. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 

In 2002, Reader's Digest named her European of the Year. The 2006 French film L'Ivresse du pouvoir (English title "Comedy of Power") is loosely based on Joly.[2]

In 2009, Joly was employed as a special adviser by the Icelandic government to investigate the possibility that white-collar crime may have played a part in the 2008–2012 Icelandic financial crisis.[4][5]

On 10 June 2009, she was a guest at a popular talk show in Iceland – and implied that she would quit being an advisor to the Icelandic government if they did not do more to help the investigation.[6][7]

On 7 June 2009, Joly was elected as a French member of the European Parliament on the Ile de France "Europe Écologie" list, on which she was 2nd to Daniel Cohn-Bendit. She is chair of the Committee on Development.

In 2011, Joly competed in the primaries of Europe Écologie–The Greens against Nicolas Hulot, Stephane L'Homme and Henri Stoll to represent the merged parties at the president of France in the election of 2012. She was elected in the second round of voting against Hulot, with 58% of votes.[8]

In the first round of the presidential election she received 2.3% of the vote, and subsequently endorsed Socialist Party candidate François Hollande for the second round.

She also worked in Afghanistan during July 2012 as part of an UN anti-corruption mission.[9]

Published works[edit]

  • Notre affaire à tous, 2000
  • Korrupsjonsjeger: Fra Grünerløkka til Palais de Justice, 2001
  • Est-ce dans ce monde-là que nous voulons vivre?, 2003
  • 9 May 2001 op-ed in Le Monde, signed with Renaud van Ruymbeke, Bernard Bertossa and other European magistrates or attorneys-general, titled "The black boxes of financial globalization", about the Clearstream scandal (Clearstream has been qualified as a "bank of banks" and accused of being a major platform of global money laundering and tax evasion)


  • Eva Joly and Judith Perrignon, Les yeux de Lira (Ardennes Editions, 2011) (trans. by Emily Read as The Eyes of Lira Kazan (Bitter Lemon Press, 2012); by Friðrik Rafnsson as Augu Líru (Skrudda, 2012))


Joly sits on the advisory board of the Washington-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity.[10]


External links[edit]