Gerd-Liv Valla

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Gerd-Liv Valla
Gerd-Liv Valla.JPG
Minister of Justice
In office
4 February – 17 October 1997
Prime Minister Thorbjørn Jagland
Preceded by Anne Holt
Succeeded by Aud Inger Aure
Personal details
Born (1948-01-25) 25 January 1948 (age 69)
Korgen, Nordland
Nationality Norwegian
Political party Norwegian Labour Party
Residence Oslo, Norway
Alma mater University of Oslo
Profession Politician

Gerd-Liv Valla (born 25 January 1948 in Korgen, Nordland) was the leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). She took over in 2001 (from former leader, Yngve Hågensen) and resigned in 2007. In 1997 she was the Norwegian Minister of Justice.

Early life[edit]

Valla grew up on a farm near Bjerka in Hemnes municipality, Nordland. Their father was active in the Norwegian Agrarian Association, and her brother Nils Valla would become a national leader of this organization. Gerd-Liv Valla moved to Hemnesberget to compete her primary education, and to Mo i Rana for upper secondary school. While living in Mo, she competed for Mo IL in middle distance running and set a Northern Norwegian record in the 800 metres.[1] The time was 2:18.1 minutes, achieved in June 1968 on Bislett stadion.[2]

Education and professional life[edit]

Valla has a major degree in political science, with minors in social anthropology and public law. She graduated as cand.polit. from the University of Oslo in 1977, and attended the Department of Teacher Education and School Research at the University of Oslo in 1979. She headed the Norwegian Student Union 1974–75.

For seven years she was married to historian Harald Berntsen. Together they have a daughter.

She has worked both in the trade unions and as first consultant and office leader at the Research Council of Norway, as well as lector at Eik Teacher Academy in Tønsberg.

In 1997 she was appointed Minister of Justice and the Police in the cabinet Jagland, replacing Anne Holt who left. Valla lost this job in late 1997, when the cabinet Jagland lost the election and was replaced by the first cabinet Bondevik.


In January 2007 Valla was accused of harassment and of having an authoritarian leading style by Ingunn Yssen, a former deputy. This sparked enormous media-interest in Valla, and generated heated debate over her future as leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions.[3] On 9 March, under massive pressure, she announced her resignation after a controversial external inquiry found that she and LO had violated several Norwegian labor laws.[4]

Ivar Hippe was one of her political consultants when the controversy started.[5]


  1. ^ Sellæg, Arne (22 July 2005). "Valla-søsken nådde makttoppen". Nationen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  2. ^ Norwegian all-time list, women's 800 metres - Norwegian Athletics Association
  3. ^ Dregelid, Solrun; Lars Magne Sunnanå; Jonathan Tisdall (18 January 2007). "LO faces inquiry". Aftenposten. Archived from the original on 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  4. ^ Tisdall, Jonathan (9 March 2007). "Valla steps down". Aftenposten. Archived from the original on 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  5. ^ "Coachet Valla". E24 Næringsliv. June 22, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2010. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Anne Holt
Norwegian Minister of Justice and the Police
February 1997–October 1997
Succeeded by
Aud Inger Aure
Business positions
Preceded by
Yngve Hågensen
Leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
Succeeded by
Roar Flåthen