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The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the supreme court in all matters under English and Welsh law, Northern Irish law and Scottish civil law. It is the court of last resort and the highest appellate court in the United Kingdom, although the High Court of Justiciary remains the supreme court for criminal cases in Scotland. The Supreme Court also has jurisdiction to resolve disputes relating to devolution in the United Kingdom and concerning the legal powers of the three devolved governments or laws made by the devolved legislatures. The Supreme Court was established by Part 3 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and started work on 1 October 2009. It assumed the judicial functions of the House of Lords, which had been exercised by the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, the 12 professional judges appointed as members of the House of Lords to carry out its judicial business. Its jurisdiction over devolution matters had previously been exercised by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Because of the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, the Supreme Court is much more limited in its powers of judicial review than the constitutional or supreme courts of some other countries. It cannot overturn any primary legislation made by Parliament. However, it can overturn secondary legislation if, for example, that legislation is found to be ultra vires of the powers in primary legislation allowing it to be made. Further, under section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998, the Supreme Court, like some other courts in the United Kingdom, may make a declaration of incompatibility, indicating that it believes that the legislation subject to the declaration is incompatible with one of the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights. Such a declaration can apply to primary or secondary legislation. The legislation is not overturned by the declaration, and neither Parliament nor the government is required to agree with any such declaration. However, if they do accept a declaration, ministers can exercise powers under section 10 of the act to amend the legislation by statutory instrument to remove the incompatibility, or ask Parliament to amend the legislation. (via Freebase)