In this paper I review the evidence that shows that the optical and electronic properties of semiconducting diamond can be understood in terms of boron acceptors partially compensated by deep donors. In natural semiconducting diamond, in which the total impurity concentration is less than 1 ppm, there is a lot of fine structure in the acceptor absorption spectrum that is not fully understood, and the electrical conductivity is primarily associated with the thermally activated excitation of holes from the acceptor ground state to the valence band. Some of the problems regarding the analysis of Hall effect data in this material are discussed, including the temperature dependences of the scattering mechanisms, of the contribution from the split-off valence band and of the population of excited states. There are no adequate theoretical descriptions of any of these processes, and this leads to some uncertainties in the values of the parameters derived from the temperature dependence of the Hall coefficient. For boron-doped synthetic diamond, and thin film diamond grown by chemical vapour deposition (CVD), the defect concentrations are generally much higher, and much more inhomogeneous, than in natural semiconducting diamond. This results in a substantial broadening of the acceptor absorption spectrum and the electronic properties are greatly modified by increasing contributions from impurity band conduction as the acceptor concentrations are increased, leading to very low mobility values. For both polycrystalline and single crystal homoepitaxial CVD diamond, measurements of the electrical properties can be completely invalidated by the presence of a surface layer of non-diamond carbon.