PG V(O) Duty Of Court To Instruct: Separation Of Powers Precludes Legislative Infringement On Judicial Discretion.
Many instructional issues are addressed by statute. (See FORECITE CHK I [California Statutes and Rules of Court Relevant to Jury Instructions].) However, to the extent that any of these statutes infringe upon the core duties and powers of the judge they may violate the California Constitution. “The separation of powers doctrine protects each branch’s core constitutional functions from lateral attack by another branch.” Although “this does not mean that the activities of one branch are entirely immune from regulation or oversight by another…” an enactment may implicate separation of powers if it ‘defeat[s] or materially impair[s]’ the constitutional function of the courts… [Citation.]” (People v. Bunn(2002, S086128) 27 C4th 1, 16, 23 [115 CR2d 192].)