In a new Project I've created, if a user is not the assignee, they can not transition the issue through the workflow. The workflow I have set up has no conditions that should prevent this.
This happens regardless of permissions (User, Developer, Project Lead, etc)
How can I allow a user or a group to transition an issue regardless of assignee?
You could add a condition on user group: edit workflow => coditions => add conditon => user in group. More information you can see here https://confluence.atlassian.com/jira/jira-administrator-s-guide-100303111.html
As well as Phil's point, make sure the user has "transition issue" permission in the scheme (it's a general permission that protects all transitions without appearing in the workflow. It stops "anonymous" users from being able to use transitions!)
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