Inger Louise Valle

Inger Louise Valle (28 November 1921 – 21 May 2006) was a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party, particularly noted for her efforts to reform the Norwegian penal system. She is the mother of professor Jan Grund.

Inger Louise Valle
Minister of Children and Equality
In office
17 March 1971 – 18 October 1972
Prime MinisterTrygve Bratteli
Preceded byElsa Skjerven
Succeeded bySolveig Sollie (1989)
Minister of Justice
In office
16 October 1973 – 8 October 1979
Prime MinisterTrygve Bratteli
Odvar Nordli
Preceded byPetter Mørch Koren
Succeeded byAndreas Z. Cappelen
Minister of Local Government
In office
8 October 1979 – 3 October 1980
Prime MinisterOdvar Nordli
Preceded byArne Nilsen
Succeeded byHarriet Andreassen
Minister of Government Administration and Consumer Affairs
In office
8 May 1972 – 18 October 1972
Prime MinisterTrygve Bratteli
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byEva Kolstad
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
1 October 1977 – 30 September 1981
Personal details
Born(1921-11-28)28 November 1921
Oslo, Norway
Died21 May 2006(2006-05-21) (aged 84)
Bærum, Norway
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Helge Grund (1944–1956)
Øystein Valle (1958–2006; her death)
ChildrenJan Grund


She represented Akershus in the Norwegian Parliament in the period between 1977-1981. She also served as Minister of Administration and Consumer Affairs 1971-1972 and Minister of Family and Consumer Affairs in 1972, Minister of Justice and the Police 1973-1976 and 1976–1979, and Minister of Local Government Affairs 1979-1980. Valle also served in the local government of Bærum, and was Norway's first Consumer Ombudsman.

Born into a privileged family and educated as an attorney, Valle was one of the first ministers of justice whose main career had been in politics. Her views on the Norwegian penal system were grounded in humanistic principles founded in criminology, and several of her proposals for reform met with controversy. In particular the so-called "Criminal report" in 1978 (Stortingsmelding 104, 1977-1978) caused considerable controversy. The report asserted that the deterrent effect of stiff penalties was a myth, and that policy toward criminals should be based in broader considerations than penology. It didn't help matters much that she enlisted Arne Haugestad, who had already gained notoriety in the campaign against Norwegian membership in the European Community, as the director of Norway's penal system. Among other things, he recommended eliminating prison sentences as punishment for crimes for financial gain.

The controversy gained steam in the fall of 1978, when professor of law Johs Andenæs critiqued the report in a meeting arranged by the Conservative Party, claiming that the principles were coddling criminals and threatening law and order. The year after in April 1979, Valle pressured prime minister Nordli to push through Stortinget, against all advice and recommendations the total abolition of the death penalty in Norway. Valle quickly found herself isolated, even now within her own party. Much of the blame for the Labour Party's relatively poor showing in the 1979 elections were put at her feet.

Even among her detractors, she is noted for her moral courage and commitment to humanistic values. Although many of her proposed reforms never were implemented, some were, notably raising the age of criminal accountability and including community service in the penal system.

Valle headed the Norwegian executive committee for UN's International Women's Year in 1975.[citation needed]


  • "Inger Louise Valle" (in Norwegian). Storting.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Family and Consumer Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by
position created
Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Justice and the Police
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Director of the Norwegian Directorate of Rationalisation
Succeeded by