Born in Kenya, Rasik Shah grew up in a multicultural society speaking several languages, and studied Law at Lincoln’s Inn, London, where he was called to the bar as a Barrister at Law in 1963. Returning to Kenya, he practised as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, specializing as a criminal lawyer. In 1974, he immigrated to Canada, took the Common Law exam set by Osgoode Hall, and qualified as a barrister and solicitor, becoming a member of the Law Society of British Columbia.
Rasik practised law for 15 years, then took a break from law by leading trekking trips to the Himalayas in India for the next 12 years, travelling widely among Buddhist communities in the north, including an overland trip from Nepal to Lhasa in Tibet. He has also done some travel writing and published some short fiction. He returned to practise as refugee counsel by qualifying as an immigration consultant in 2002, apart from doing a stint with CBSA as a hearing officer.
In 2006, Rasik joined Ashton College and set up the refugee module program, and also started teaching the IMCD 04 refugee module. In 2008, he was appointed a member of the IRB by the Governor General in Council and functioned as a refugee claims adjudicator for a year at the Refugee Protection Division, Vancouver, resuming instruction at Ashton College thereafter and taking up his practice as refugee counsel again. His hobbies are creative writing, chess, and a passionate interest in literature; he is also committed to human rights causes. He is pleased to see indications of a new refugee-friendly environment in Canada.