© The Author(s) 2019. The growing number of military operations conducted by States Party to the European Convention on Human Rights abroad has led to a concomitant surge in court cases, notably relating to the duty to investigate an attack resulting in the death of an individual. Using the example of the British armed forces abroad, this article contends that the principles enunciated by the European Court are difficult, sometimes impossible, to fulfil when military operations are carried out abroad. The Court at times appears to fail to recognise the inherent challenges faced by States in complying with these principles. This article thus suggests that the Court offers a more flexible approach towards compliance with the procedural aspects demanded under Article 2 ECHR, especially regarding the initial phases of the application of Article 2 ECHR, when the armed forces are directly implicated in the procedure.