Judge Roberto Ronquillo Jr. has been appointed chief justice of the Boston Municipal Court for a five-year term, court officials announced today.

Ronquillo’s appointment is effective Jan. 2, Paula M. Carey, chief justice of the Trial Court, said in a statement. Ronquillo is currently serving as first justice of the East Boston division of the Boston Municipal Court.

Carey said Ronquillo “will effectively build upon the foundation provided by Chief Justice Charles R. Johnson who led the Boston Municipal Court through a period of dynamic change.”

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She said Boston Municipal Court is “an urban court key to the delivery of justice in the city of Boston.”

The Massachusetts Bar Association applauded Ronquillo’s selection.

“Judge Ronquillo is well-respected for his intellect, temperament and judicial acumen,’’ Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel for the MBA, said in a statement. “He is an outstanding choice to serve as the next chief justice of the Boston Municipal Court.’’

Healy described Ronquillo “as a respected leader who will serve as a unifying voice in the BMC.”

Carey also announced the appointment of Judge Judith C. Cutler as chief justice of the Land Court Department.