NPC deputies elect top judicial officials Nation’s new chief prosecutor vows to promote reform
re-elected president of the Supreme People’s Court, and Zhang Jun, newly elected procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, take the oath of allegiance to the nation’s Constitution after their election in Beijing on Sunday.
A veteran judicial official has been elected to lead the top procuratorate for the following five years and is expected to push forward the country’s judicial reform together with the nation’s chief justice.
Zhang Jun was elected procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on Sunday at the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s national legislature.
Zhang, born in October 1956, is a member of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. He was appointed minister of justice in February 2017.
At the same session, Zhou Qiang was re-elected president of the Supreme People’s Court. Zhou, born in April 1960, is also a member of the 19th CPC Central Committee. He was first elected president of the top court in 2013.
Both of them took an oath of allegiance to the nation’s Constitution after their election on Sunday.
Although Zhang is new to the top procuratorate, he has accumulated rich working experience in judicial bodies.
After receiving a graduate degree in criminal law at Renmin University of China in 1985, Zhang joined the Supreme People’s Court and worked his way up to become vice-president of the top court in late 2001.
Between late 2001 and February 2017, when he was appointed minister of justice, Zhang served in various deputy leadership positions at the top court, the Ministry of Justice and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Party’s top disciplinary watchdog.
Since becoming the justice minister, Zhang has led several efforts to improve legal services for the public, and better protect and manage lawyers.
In October, the ministry issued a document launching a pilot program to increase the presence of defense lawyers in criminal cases in eight provincial-level areas.
Zhou, a postgraduate in law, started to work at the Ministry of Justice in 1985. He became director of the ministry’s legislation department in 1995, and then spent the following 11 years as an official with the Communist Youth League.
In 2010, Zhou was appointed Party secretary of Hunan province, and three years later was elected chief justice of the top court.
Han Deyun, an NPC deputy and a lawyer from Chongqing, said he feels confident and is looking forward to seeing more judicial progress after Sunday’s elections.
“I’ve observed increasingly stronger determination and actions from the top court and top procuratorate to push forward the rule of law since the 18th CPC National Congress in late 2012,” he said.
“I hope such momentum can be maintained after the election of the leadership of the two top judicial organs.”
Han said Zhang had done a great job in improving protection for lawyers during his term of office at the Ministry of Justice and hopes he can lead prosecutors in making more progress.
Li Li, another NPC deputy and a judge from Beijing, said she was encouraged by the elections. “The two judicial authorities should make more efforts to build technology-friendly courts and procuratorates, and try to uphold justice in every individual case,” she said.
Zhou Qiang (left),