Maybe you can try Approvers (field) instead of Approval (function).
Something like this works on our instance:
status = "Awaiting approval" and Approvers in (EMPTY)
Note 1: "Awaiting approval" is the status of your workflow where the "Approvers" are set.
Note 2: The "Approvers" field is available when "Service Desk" is installed.
For this, we use the 'approvers' field in JQL.
Problem: However, by default the field is not searchable, which is why it does not work in JQL.
Solution: A Jira admin can update the custom field to be "searchable". It may require reindexing.
BUT, I agree that `approvals()` should have other functions, such as != or `is not`.
For example, I would like to search for items which have `approvers` but have not been approved. Checking `approval=pending()` is not enough since that only accounts for ones where the current status is an approval status.
And this doesn't work:
You get the same result with 'and' or 'and not'.
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