Childline founder Esther Rantzen yesterday called for an overhaul of the Scottish court system to stop abused children from facing courts to give evidence.

Ms Rantzen said the new Scottish Government measures brought in in April aimed at helping child witnesses give evidence was a positive change in the law - but warned that much more needed to be done.

The campaigning journalist, who gave the annual Children 1st Lecture at Glasgow City Chambers yesterday, still believes the court system is failing abused children and says that no child should be made to face what she described as an "adversarial system where two high priced grown ups fight it out" even through a videolink.

In her Changing Children's Lives speech, she calls for urgent action to be taken and believes Scotland's more "child sensitive" government could lead the UK and come in line with other European countries in keeping abused children away from court- room cross examination.

She said: "What I am asking is that the Scottish Government set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate other ways of hearing evidence from children and please, please, invite me to take part."

From the start of April youngsters giving evidence in less serious cases at sheriff courts were able to give their evidence away from the court via a live TV link, according to new measures announced by the then Scottish Executive.

They would also be able to have screens around them so they cannot see the accused, have a supporter with them in court and use statements they have given earlier to help them as they give their evidence.

The measures have already been in place for those giving evidence in jury trials and also at children's hearings.

The new measures included in the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004, gave children under the age of 16 automatic entitlement to assistance. But Ms Rantzen, the long-serving presenter of the That's Life consumer show, still believes there is an "urgent need" for reform of the Scottish juvenile justice system which would involve the introduction of an "inquisitorial system" where a child is rigorously interviewed by a court appointed representative before any case goes to court.