United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to name a South African judge as the new U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Diplomats say the U.N. chief could name Navenethem Pillay to the post as early as Friday.

Pillay is a woman of South Asian descent who currently serves as a judge on the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The new human rights chief will replace Louise Arbour, who stepped down June 30 after serving four years for the Geneva-based body.

Pillay became the first woman to set up a law practice in Natal Province in South Africa and was the country's first woman of color to serve on the High Court.

Judge Pillay has presided over cases involving international criminal law, humanitarian law and human rights law, especially crimes involving sexual violence in conflicts.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.