Are blocks enforced in any way?

Is there any enforcement that prevents me from closing an issue that has an open blocker(s)?

It doesn't seem to prevent it now. It appears block denoting is purely informational and non-functional.

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Correct, because issue links can be called anything you want. "Blocked", "Chewed by", "Mr Flibble" - all perfectly valid links

You've probably already realised you need to edit the workflow to enforce such a block.

If you've got sub-tasks, there's a simple condition that says "do not let transition proceed if any sub tasks are in status x/y/z", so you can use that on them. Links blocking is another condition you can add and use, but I think it's in a plugin and I don't know if that plugin is installed in OnDemand...

So are you saying that a linked issue (blocker, is blocked by) is treated as a sub-task of the other and I can add the condition to prevent closing an issue with open sub-tasks?

No!

Links are one system. Sub-tasks are another.

Sub-tasks belong to a parent issue (and hence the same project as the parent). You can enforce a "do not allow parent to close while subtasks are open" rule using a standard condition (I'm not 100% sure of that actually - it might be in the Jira toolkit or Jira Suite utilities. I've always had the condition, but I've always had those two plugins installed too)

Links are an indicator of a logical relationship between two issues anywhere in the system. They don't do anything other than indicate that there's a relationship

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