Deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) Friday elected Zhou Qiang as president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC).
Zhou, 52, is currently a member of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Party chief of Central China's Hunan Province.
He holds a master's degree in law, and served at the Ministry of Justice for 10 years before being transferred to the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League in 1995 and appointed to positions in Hunan in 2006.
Zhou's predecessor Wang Shengjun was elected vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee on Thursday after serving five years at the post. Wang worked in the country's political and legal affairs system for most of his career before 2008.
The SPC is the highest court of review in all legal cases and approves all death sentences.
AFP quoted legal specialists as saying that Zhou is likely to be an "improvement."
"His legal education means he might place more emphasis on using the law," Pu Zhiqiang, one of the well-known lawyers of the country, told AFP, but gave a cautious note over whether Zhou could promote the development of China's legal system.
"I think there may be positive change, because he has a great educational background," He Weifang, a professor of law at Peking University, who studied with Zhou in the 1980s, told AFP.
Meanwhile, at the plenary meeting of the NPC, Cao Jianming was reelected procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
Cao, born in 1955, is a member of the 18th CPC Central Committee. He was first elected procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate in 2008.
Cao holds a master's degree in law, and was a professor for international law at the East China University of Political Science and Law in the 1980s and 1990s.
Agencies - Global Times