In AD 697 the Abbot of Iona, Adomnán, introduced the Law of the Innocents; known as the 'Cáin Adomnáin' – the Law of Adomnán. The Law of the Innocents was an attempt to protect non-combatants: women, children and the clergy – to give rights to civilians.
The Cáin Adomnáin recounts that an angel told Adomnán to create a law that:
… women be not in any manner killed by men, through slaughter or any other death, either by poison, or in water, or in fire, or by any other beast, or in a pit, or by dogs, but that they shall die in their lawful bed …
… he who from this day forward shall put a woman to death and does not do penance according to the Law, shall not only perish in eternity, and be cursed for God and Adomnán.
The Law of the Innocents laid out a series of fines for unlawful acts including wounding or slaying innocent children, clerics and women.