His parents were of judges at the Supreme Court pin Oluf Steen Julius Berner (1809-1855) and his wife Marie Louise Falkenberg ( 1816-1841 ). On July 14, 1868, he married Olivia Mathilde Jacobine Berner (7 May 1841-11. May 1919 ), daughter of the tanner Haslef Jørgen Berner ( 1811-1892 ) and his wife Jørgine Smith ( 1808-1887 ).
Carl Berner was early an orphan. The mother died shortly after his birth, the stepmother, as he did when he was eight years, the father 14 years old. After that, he lived for a while in his mother's family in Larvik. The exam artium he passed in 1859. After that he began in Christiania a science degree, but could not bring to a conclusion. Instead, he taught at various high schools. He took active part in student politics and was from 1867 to 1868 Chairman of the Student Union. During this time he joined the national-democratic opposition and was also a member of the " Døleringen " who had taken the simple country life as a model of lifestyle.
After a study period abroad in 1874 he became rector of the new Technical University in Bergen. There he soon became involved politically and was a member of the local self-government. In the early 1880s he took part on the side of the Venstre political disputes. 1886 to 1891 and 1895 to 1903, he was Storting delegate for Bergen and 1903-1909 for Sarpsborg. He remained until 1909 Member of the Storting with the exception of the period from 1892 to 1894, when he was not selected in the State Government and therefore the Storting. In 1899 he became manager of the next stamp paper. 1886 to 1889 he was president of Odelstings.
In the session of the Storting from 1889 to 1891 he was the parliamentary leader of the " pure Venstre " because their real leader John Steen had failed in the election in 1888. Although he was an able parliamentarian, but had no high reputation in the time of the schism within Venstre. But he was still contact for the retired "moderate Venstre ". He could therefore assume the role of mediator.
Karl Berner showed his skill when it came to the Venstre to escape from the dilemma which was that they had no confidence to Johan Sverdrup, wanted to overthrow this but not using the right hand ( Høyre ). As Høyre 1889 introduced a motion of censure, Bernese asked such hard conditions to support a reformed government Sverdrup that the king preferred to dismiss the government and instead Emil Stang commissioned to form a government.
Two years later it came to government crisis by " Berners agenda " which he presented to the Storting and this on February 23, 1891 accepted the request. It was a milestone in the parliamentary system in Norway and in the Union's policies. The adoption of the agenda included the demand for a separate Norwegian foreign minister. The agenda was directed against a common proposal Emil Stang and the Swedish Government. They provoked the confidence Stangs, which led for the first time a case of a parliamentary government through a vote in the Storting. He was neither the originator of this new line, nor the author of the request, but the final redactor, who managed to do by clever formulation the conflicting interests of the factions of the Venstre, "pure" and "moderate " enough.
In the reign of John Steen, which followed the government Stangs, Berner was first a member of the Council of State Division in Stockholm, after the State Council of Churches and the Education Department. He has but provided no special services. His field was the debate in the Storting. Both the Council of State from 1891 to 1893 and in the Storting, he represented in the Union's policies consistently the line that was mapped out by " Berners agenda ": In addition to the longer-term goal of a Foreign Minister, he pursued on a daily basis, first the goal of a consulate system for Norway. In January 1903, the Storting adopted a new " Berners agenda " for the final phase of the Swedish-Norwegian negotiations at the consulate dispute. Berner played a central role, as he in 1905 as President of the Storting, to which he had become in 1898, in a special committee, the Norwegian approach in the Consulate thing prepared, which led to the dissolution of the Union. The highlight of his political career was when he proclaimed on June 1 from his place as President of the Storting, the dissolution of the Union. During this time he was also a member of the Lagting. He then took in the negotiations of Karlstad in part, in which the manner of separation from Sweden were developed.
Carl Berner was in several sessions leader of the Venstre. Within the party, but he had no prominent position until 1903 he was Chairman. He preserved by its moderate business acumen in Venstre from decay, but had no ambition, nor to assume a leadership position in the internally fragmented party after 1906. His efforts to reach a compromise with the government Michelsen largely isolated him in the party, the majority of the opposition Course Gunnar Knudsen followed. In 1909 he lost the election in his constituency " Nedre Romerike " and withdrew from politics.
Outside of politics, he also had some important features: He was a member of the Board in the Nansen Fund, the Nobel Committee of the Storting and the Association for the Preservation of Norwegian Antiquities. He was also the first chairman of the Nordmannsforbund.
He received the Grand Cross of St. Olav Order, the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honor, the Coronation Medal and the Medal June 7.
He was buried in Vestre Gravlund in Oslo.
The article is mainly based on the Norsk biografisk leksikon. Any other information is reported separately.