Associate Professor Gehan Nilendra Gunasekara

LLM (Hons), LLB, BA


Gehan Gunasekara specialises in the areas of franchising law and information privacy law. He has published widely in these areas both locally and overseas. He is currently researching the application of privacy laws to companies doing business inside a country but operating from outside it and the limits of national privacy laws. He has also researched privacy issues connected with applications such as online social networking and the Internet.

Gehan is a regular commentator and contributor to debate in national media on privacy issues and was a member of the academic reference committee for the Review of the Privacy Act by the Law Commission. He is currently Chair of Privacy Foundation New Zealand Inc., a not for profit organisation engaged in privacy research and education. Gehan has also led research in New Zealand on legal issues affecting franchising and especially the incidence and areas of franchise litigation in New Zealand. 

Research | Current

Gehan has two main areas of research:

  • Management of information, especially personal data and the challenges to privacy laws in this arena from the pressures of globalisation.
  • The law surrounding business format franchising.

For an up-to-date list of Gehan's publications see Selected Publications below.



Teaching | Current



  • COMLAW 101 (Semester 1)        Law in a Business Environment
  • COMLAW 304 (Semester 1)        Business Structures for Enterprises
  • On Research and Study Leave in Semester 2


Postgraduate supervision

Gehan has co-supervised  the following doctoral student to completion:
• Alan Toy Privacy Audits: Expectations and Implementation (PhD awarded 2016):

Gehan is currently supervising and co-supervising the following doctoral candidates:
• Kylie Jackson-Cox A study of the impacts of the passage of time on privacy protection in law (supervisor - ongoing)
• Nadia Dabee Reducing Workplace Accident Rates in New Zealand: The Role of
Workplace Safety Regulation (co-supervisor - ongoing)



Research Grant Received

Faculty Research Development Fund Grant 2017 "Regulatory Implications of China’s Social Credit System" (co-investigator).

Teaching Scholarship

GUNASEKARA, G.N, SIMS, A.J., 2004, ‘Teaching ICANZ and Elective Law Papers at The University of Auckland: Some Observations as to Teaching Methodology and Content’ in the Accounting and Commercial Law Conference 23-24 August 2004 at Victoria University of Wellington.


Service to the University at Departmental Level

  • Deputy Head of Department

Service to the University and Faculty 

  • Member of faculty Assurance of Learning Committee
  • member of BCom Review Committee

Areas of expertise

  • Franchising law
  • Privacy and data protection

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Deputy Chair, Privacy Foundation New Zealand Inc.
  • Enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Member, Australasian Law Teachers Association (since 2004)
  • Member, Legal Research Foundation
  • Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals (iapp/ANZ) (since 2012)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Toy, A., & Gunasekara, G. (2019). Is There a Better Option than the Data Transfer Model to Protect Data Privacy?. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 42 (2), 719-746.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Alan Toy
  • Gunasekara, G. (2018). Making a difference? The Privacy Act and employment relationship problems in New Zealand. New Zealand Universities Law Review, 28 (1), 25-53. Related URL.
  • Gunasekara, G., & Singh, N. (2017). Upping the ante: New actors and the evolving nature of Privacy Act jurisprudence in New Zealand. Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, 48 (3), 441-469.
  • Gunasekara, G., & Xiong, J. (2016). Lost in translation? Privacy and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce in the United States. New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, 22 (3), 162-187.
  • Buchan, J., & Gunasekara, G. (2015). Administrative law parallels with private law concepts: Unconscionable conduct, good faith and fairness in franchise relationships. Adelaide Law Review, 36 (2), 541-575.
  • Gunasekara, G., & Xharra, N. (2014). Smokescreen or the real deal: Website privacy notices of companies listed in New Zealand. New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, 20 (4), 260-288.
  • Gunasekara, G. (2013). Privacy as a Stakeholder Interest in New Zealand: Transparency in Corporate Governance Practices. New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, 19 (4), 271-293. Related URL.
  • Gunasekara, G. (2013). Paddling in unison or just paddling? International trends in reforming information privacy law. International Journal of Law and Information Technology10.1093/ijlit/eat013