Property tycoon Charif Kazal has appealed against a ruling that he acted corruptly during dealings with a NSW government official, saying the Independent Commission Against Corruption's finding exceeded its jurisdiction.
Corrupt conduct findings were made against Mr Kazal and Andrew Kelly, a former executive of the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA), in December 2011.
ICAC said it was satisfied that Mr Kazal shelled out more than $11,000 for Mr Kelly's 2007 trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and that he held out the prospect of a job to him.
Mr Kazal intended to "influence Mr Kelly to exercise his official SHFA functions in a manner favourable to the Kazal business interests", it found.
But while the commission said Mr Kazal's conduct could constitute or involve an offence, it also found there was not sufficient admissible evidence to refer the matter for prosecution.
In a civil hearing before the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, Mr Kazal's barrister Robert Sutherland SC said this created "tension" under the ICAC Act.
"One has their reputation destroyed, their business dealings put at peril and where they are effectively a politically exposed person as a consequence of a finding that doesn't even warrant a referral to the DPP," he said.
In written submissions made to the court, Mr Kazal's legal representatives called for an order to be made that the corrupt conduct finding was "made without or in excess of jurisdiction, and is a nullity".
But ICAC's barrister, Todd Alexis SC, said the argument "ran against the tide of the commission's procedures" over the last 25 years.
ICAC was not bound by the rules or practice of evidence, nor by the rules and procedures that constrained the courts, he said.
Material gathered during an inquiry - such as a confession - could not always be used in subsequent criminal proceedings but that did not mean the commissioner could not be satisfied that a person had acted corruptly, he told the court.
ICAC called for the summons made on behalf of Mr Kazal to be dismissed with costs.
Justice Ian Harrison has reserved his decision until Thursday.